The SDLP have withdrawn support for local election candidate, Jimmy Carr, this evening.
The dramatic decision was taken by the SDLP less than 48 hours before voting commences in local council elections in Derry and the rest of the north.
It is unclear whether Mr. Carr will continue to stand as a candidate for the Ballyarnett ward on Thursday.
When contacted by The Derry Journal this evening an SDLP Party spokesperson confirmed that three other SDLP Party candidates in the Ballyarnett District Electoral Area (DEA) have been asked to stop campaigning “on the basis of also commending” Mr. Carr’s candidacy.
“The SDLP Derry Election Directorate are no longer asking our candidates and party activists in the Ballyarnett DEA to continue their campaign on the basis of also commending Jimmy Carr’s candidacy.
“These three outstanding candidates have to be able to fight the remaining campaign on the basis of the strong policy platform and sound representation which they and the SDLP offer.
“This decision is made without prejudice to any investigations into matters in which Jimmy Carr denies involvement or any other determinations which would not fall to this election directorate,” an SDLP Party spokesperson said.
The withdrawal of support for Mr. Carr by the SDLP comes less than 24 hours after The Derry Journal exclusively revealed that a Derry City Council issued iPad had been passed on to the PSNI after “questionable” messages had been discovered on it.
In a statement to The Derry Journal yesterday an SDLP Party spokesperson said Mr. Carr denied any involvement with the messages.
“We [SDLP] can confirm that there is a suggestion that these messages appear to be linked to Jimmy Carr.
“Jimmy Carr has denied involvement to the party and has told the party that he is willing to co-operate with both the PSNI and Derry City Council (DCC).
“An SDLP Councillor last week alerted a Senior Council Officer to the fact that non-council related messages of a questionable and personal nature had appeared on a council issued device. The device was handed in with the recommendation that it be referred to the police. The party has also notified the police and will co-operate in any investigation.”
Despite attempts to contact Mr. Carr this evening he was unavailable to comment.