WELL-known Dromara Councillor Paul Stewart has unexpectedly turned his back on politics, insisting health reasons alone informed his decision to resign his Lisburn City Council seat and bow out of the DUP.
The local businessman and longstanding DUP activist was co-opted to represent the Downshire Ward on Lisburn City Council in 2010, succeeding Alderman Edwin Poots.
Prior to his co-option in Lisburn, Mr. Stewart sought election to Banbridge District Council, contesting the Dromore seat ultimately secured by Councillor Carol Black in the by-election that followed the resignation of Ulster Unionist Councillor Tyrone Howe.
He had earlier worked on the ground in Dromore during a period in which he served as an assistant to Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson and a number of the constituency’s MLAs.
Mr. Stewart this week confirmed he was withdrawing entirely from politics and he expressed his gratitude to the local electorate. “I would like to sincerely thank all those people who voted for me and supported me over the years,” he said.
A spokesperson for Lagan Valley DUP said, “Paul was a great representative in the Council and his hard work will certainly be missed.
“Paul really enjoyed the Council and it will have been a difficult decision to step down.
“Our thoughts are very much with him and his family at this time.”