Veteran Tim Collins to run for UUP at next general election

Retired Colonel Tim Collins will run for the Ulster Unionist Party in the next general election, the party has announced.

Col Collins, known for a rousing pre-battle speech he made while serving in the British Army in Iraq in 2003, will be the party’s candidate in North Down.

He will challenge sitting North Down MP Stephen Farry, who represents the Alliance Party, in the ballot expected to be held later this year.

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie, who served alongside Col Collins in Iraq, told the Belfast Telegraph he is “very confident” the 63-year-old can win the seat.

The party has not been represented in the House of Commons since former South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan and former Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Tom Elliott lost their seats in 2017.

In a statement Mr Beattie said: “I am delighted that Tim has decided to run as our candidate in the forthcoming Westminster election.

“Tim’s experience in the military and business across the globe has provided him with the ability to communicate and engage at every level.

“I look forward to campaigning with Tim in the coming weeks and months and the returning of the Ulster Unionist Party in North Down to Westminster.”