DUP strong in Foyle - says Hay

William Hay who was returned as an MLA in the Foyle Constituency last night after he topped the poll,  at the count in Lisneal College with his wife Doris.

William Hay who was returned as an MLA in the Foyle Constituency last night after he topped the poll, at the count in Lisneal College with his wife Doris.

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Foyle DUP MLA Willie Hay has said his poll-topping performance in the Assembly election is an indication of the strength of his party in the city.

Mr Hay received 7,154 votes and was elected on the first count on Friday night.

The DUP stalwart pointed out that his party increased its vote despite a drop in turnout in the constituency.

“Our share of the vote has increased and that is down to a very strong party machine in Foyle.

“We have a very strong party here and it is a growing party. The unionist people of Foyle have again shown its faith and trust in us and have said yes to the DUP representing them in the next Assembly,” he said.

Mr Hay said voters responded to the DUP message on the doorsteps. “We put forward a very positive message. There was a number of key issues, most notably the issue of the cancer centre. As soon as our party gets back into the Assembly we will work to ensure that decision is overturned,” he said.

Mr Hay said the absence of the Ulster Unionist Party helped the DUP vote. “I think the UUP had the rug pulled from under them by Michael McGimpsey,” he said.

He also said he would be pleased to return as speaker at Stormont. “If I am asked I will. It will be up to the party leader as nominating officer.

“I would like to pay tribute to my strong party team who maintained a strong presence in the constituency while I’m in Stormont.

“But I have always tried to get back to the city as much as possible. You can’t forget those who elected you,” he said.