A FORMER Green Party candidate in Assembly and local council elections has defected to Alliance.
Announcing the move last week, Danny Donnelly said Alliance had shown commitment to environmental issues, as well as demonstrating at the polls over the past two years that it is “a force to be reckoned with”.
Mr Donnelly represented the Greens in last year’s Assembly election, taking 664 first-preference votes, equivalent to a 2.3 per cent share of the vote. He was also a candidate in the council election, standing in the Larne Coast Road district electoral area and polling 110 votes (3.3 per cent).
He said: “While I remain convinced that man-made climate change is the biggest political issue of our generation, I have resigned my membership from the Green Party and joined the Alliance Party.
“Larne Lough councillor John Mathews highlighted to me that the Alliance Party had a great record on environmental issues and that there were many common policies. The Alliance have continually demonstrated their commitment to the ‘green new deal’ which would create jobs, cut fuel bills and decrease harmful CO2 emissions.
“The Alliance have also strongly supported the need for a Northern Ireland climate change act.”
The Larne man also referred to Alliance MLA Anna Lo’s recent Assembly motion for a moratorium on fracking (extraction of gas from shale rocks) pending an independent scientific investigation to assess the environmental effects of the process. “This is a very important issue for us locally, as East Antrim has been identified as a potential fracking site,” he added.
“With Naomi Long’s election victory over Peter Robinson, winning his long-held East Belfast seat at Westminster, the Alliance have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with,” claimed Mr Donnelly.
“David Ford’s appointment to the justice ministry showed the Alliance are the only party who can credibly claim to offer something different at Stormont.
“I have always admired the non-sectarian stance of the Alliance and their vision of a shared future. Their long-standing support for integrated education and the capping of student fees here are admirable policies that show they care about the future for all of us. I look forward to contributing to the long-established Alliance group in East Antrim,” he said.