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Wells claims email proves he should have been reinstated

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

SOUTH Down MLA Jim Wells has claimed that an email sent by former DUP leader Peter Robinson, proves he should have been reinstated as the Minister for Health.

Mr Wells, who has been a DUP member for 43 years and an MLA for 24 years, resigned from the role after he was falsely accused of linking child abuse to same sex marriage at a Downpatrick hustings event.

Outlining his "specific concerns" in an email sent from his personal account, Mr Wells said that he had received a "written undertaking" by Mr Robinson that he would return to the position of Health Minister after the 2015 Westminster election and that party officers ignored his requests to honour the promise before telling Mr Wells that he would not be reinstated.

Mr Wells also claimed that the DUP press office made several attempts to stop him clearing his name, the press office refused to issue a statement regarding the conviction of the woman who made the false claim, a "senior member of the party" attempted to undermine his position as an MLA for South Down and his family received no support from the DUP during the last eight months of 2015.

The veteran politician has now released the "written promise" that was allegedly given to him by Mr Robinson on April 27, 2015, while he also expects to be disciplined by the party for his latest comments.

Quotes from the former First Minister included "he would be happy to see him back in government" and that "no impediment was placed in his able to return to office".

However, Mr Robinson denied there was a specific promise saying his words were "much more careful".

Mr Wells commented: "I regret that I have been forced to release private correspondence between myself, the former party leader and the party officers but this had to be done to confirm that I have told the truth about how I have been treated."

A spokesperson for the DUP said: "The party is aware of the comments. This is an internal matter. The party will not be giving a running commentary."

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