WOULD-be TUV councillor Keith Harbinson has pledged, if elected, to represent local people to the best of his ability.

Traditional Unionist Voice figurehead Jim Allister, meanwhile, has declared his full confidence in that ability.

Mr. Allister said the fact that the TUV could attract a candidate of Mr. Harbinson's calibre, a month after launching, boded well for the future of the party.

"It has been claimed that Traditional Unionist Voice does not have anything to offer the youth of our Province," he said. "Yet in this, our first electoral test, we are able to field a young professional man who is bright and articulate.

"I have no doubt that he would make a very capable councillor if elected."

Also endorsing Mr. Harbinson was his election agent, sitting Banbridge councillor Stephen Herron, a former DUP man turned independent Unionist and now among TUV ranks.

"As a councillor in Banbridge," he said, "I am well aware of the discontent with current arrangements locally and I look forward to working with Keith should he be elected."

Mr. Harbinson, a Dromore solicitor, local football referee and Orangeman, said he was delighted to carry the banner for Traditional Unionism and pledged his commitment to Dromore, while attacking the Stormont Executive as having failed to deliver on behalf of local Unionists and dismissing as a sham the "alleged transformation" of Republicans.