Killyleagh Mental Health Student Nurse Leaves DUP For The UUP
A Killyleagh student mental health nurse with a love for politics has joined the Ulster Unionist Party after spending a few years with the DUP.
Coming in the teeth of a NI Assembly election in May, it may be a political symbolic omen of changing political fortunes.
In a recent statement from the UUP, Doug Beattie MLA, UUP leader, Ulster said his party were delighted to welcome James Savage into their ranks. J
James is a former DUP council candidate from Killyleagh and is one of a number of political activists to form part of the ‘Beattie Bounce’.
Welcoming James to the party at Stormont, Doug Beattie MC MLA said “My vision is of a Union of People, an inclusive, progressive and confident brand of unionism. I see those qualities in James and look forward to him devoting his considerable energy and commitment to improve the lives of all our citizens.”
Mike Nesbitt, James’s local MLA in the Strangford constituency, also welcomed his decision to join the UUP. He said: “I first met James some time ago and it was clear he was determined to contribute to developing opportunities for his community.
“James also shares my passion for promoting good mental health and well-being, something that is more important than ever given the continuing challenges of surviving the Covid pandemic.
“James is one of an impressive number who have joined the Strangford Ulster Unionist Association since Doug Beattie MC MLA took over the Party Leadership, a timely boost as the next Assembly Election looms.”
James Savage, who is currently a student mental health nurse at John Moore’s University in Liverpool, said: “Our wee country is a phrase of endearment among our people, it is so often used to describe just how big we can be.
“For such a small country we are remarkably diverse… all kinds of people live here together, we don’t all share the same faith, sexual orientation or culture or lots of other things, but we do have shared values that amaze anyone who isn’t us. Those values are community, kindness, friendship, family.
“I want a party that will fight to keep us thriving economically and socially as a part of the United Kingdom while embodying those values so important to all of us. A party that can represent everyone and that I can be proud of.
“I believe the Ulster Unionist can be that party, I have seen their commitment to creating a union of people that works for all people in our country.
“I’ve worked with both young and old people across the country in the UK Youth Parliament, in cross community schemes, in education and in health care.
“Everything I’ve done has been with the singular purpose of trying to help people and its never mattered to me who they are, what they belief, who they love. It’s my job to help.
“As a student mental health nurse I have continued to hold that purpose and those values control in everything I do.
It is my belief that the UUP shares my values and purpose and I’m proud to join them.”
James Savage is a recent winner in the Student Nursing Times Awards held in London for the top ten Student Mental Health Nurses of the Year.
James’ move to the UUP comes at a time when many unionist voters are weighing up their options as the NI Assembly election is just a few months away. The battle between the DUP and the UUP for the soul of unionism will be hard fought.