Ryan McCready quits DUP: Derry & Strabane Alderman brands Arlene Foster treatment ‘disgraceful’

Derry & Strabane Alderman Ryan McCready has confirmed he is to quit the DUP over issues including the way Arlene Foster was treated by the party.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 9:41 am

On the day when Arlene Foster is due to step down as First Minister after being forced to resign as DUP party leader last month, Ald. McCready confirmed this morning that he is quitting the party due to a “number of factors”.

He told the Journal today the way that Arlene Foster was ousted was one of several matters of concern. “There was a series of factors. In terms of timing, the handling of Arlene Foster and the matter in which that leadership transition happened concerned me deeply. For me it was very disgraceful. I wouldn’t accept it and it’s not how I treat people so it’s very difficult for me to remain in a party when they conduct themselves in that way at that high a level.”

Ald. McCready also said that equally when the leadership race happened, of the two candidates he would have preferred Jeffrey Donaldson “if I did have a vote, which I didn’t, which was another issue - none of the Councillors had any say which just shows the disconnect between the higher levels and the lower levels within the party.

DUP Alderman Ryan McCready. DER2619-195KM
DUP Alderman Ryan McCready. DER2619-195KM

In his two years to date as an elected representative on Derry & Strabane, Ald. McCready has been noted as a more ‘progressive’ and moderate voice for unionism. “I would have been more in favour of Sir Jeffrey Donaldson who I believe would have kept on that trajectory of being more moderate, progressive initiated by Arlene Foster as opposed to what I perceive - Edwin Poots would be more regressive in his politics for me personally and would be incompatible moving forward.

Ald McCready also said that “Londonderry seems to always play second fiddle to Belfast not just in the DUP but in politics in general and that also needs to change.”

The 35-year-old former Soldier of the Year said he has not yet decided on his own future, and the decision on whether he will stay on as a public representative either as an independent or a member of different party or vacate his seat would be decided after speaking on the ground with the people who elected him.

Full interview in tomorrow’s Derry Journal.