Rodney Connor

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Rodney Connor (born 8 March 1951[1]) was the Unionist "Unity" candidate for the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the 2010 Westminster election. He had the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force electoral alliance between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Conservative Party. He lost to the incumbent, Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew by four votes,[2] having unsuccessfully challenged the result in the Election Court.

As a result of efforts towards Unionist unity, the DUP stated that it would not stand in North Down, where the incumbent Member was the Unionist Sylvia Hermon, who had recently quit the UUP[3] and was then an independent unionist candidate for that constituency.[4]

For a while the main sticking points to a total agreement appeared to be the Ulster Unionists' electoral link with the Conservatives and David Cameron's insistence that any agreed Unionist candidate must take the Conservative whip in the House of Commons if elected, while the DUP insisted that it would not endorse anyone standing under the Ulster Unionist and Conservative banner. A compromise solution was offered by Rodney Connor, in that he would stand as an independent unionist who said he would take the Conservative whip and vote with them on national issues but would vote independently on issues relating to Northern Ireland.[5]

In the event, Connor lost the election to Gildernew by four votes: 21,304 to 21,300.[6]

Unlawful appointment as chief executive[edit]

In 2000, Connor was appointed as Chief Executive of Fermanagh District Council. The appointment was later ruled unlawful due to the appearance of sectarian discrimination. Nine unionist councillors were fined £40,000, which was paid by Fermanagh District Council. Connor himself was not found responsible.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biodata". Nwipp-newspapers.com. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-05-28. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Unionist 'unity' candidate agreed". BBC News. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  3. ^ Moriarty, Gerry Ulster Unionist MP Hermon resigns from party, The Irish Times March 26, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2010.
  4. ^ Hermon Resolves to 'Fight to Win', press release, March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2010.
  5. ^ "Ex-Fermanagh chief executive mooted as agreed unionist". BBC News. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Election 2010 | Constituency | Fermanagh & South Tyrone". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  7. ^ "UK | Northern Ireland | Councillors guilty of misconduct". BBC News. 2005-10-19. Retrieved 2010-05-28.