Veteran DUP politician David Simpson will not seek re-election as Upper Bann MP

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By Rebecca Black

Veteran DUP representative David Simpson has announced he will not seek re-election.

The outgoing Upper Bann MP issued the decision in a statement following recent newspaper revelations about his private life and an extra-marital affair.

Mr Simpson said it had been the "privilege of my life" to serve as MP, but now he wants to "pass the baton on".

"In recent times it has been well publicised that I made a mistake that brought hurt to my wife and family as well as bringing heartache to another family," he said.

"These were my mistakes and for them I am truly sorry. I have learned from my failings and my wife and children have given me a precious second chance and together we intend to look to the future together."

Mr Simpson said he had been encouraged to stand again for election, but said he felt it was the right time to go.

"I deeply appreciate the support afforded to me by my family, friends, party colleagues and most importantly from the people of Upper Bann who have trusted me to represent them over the last four general elections," he said.

"I look forward to helping and supporting the party in other facets in the future."

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she wished Mr Simpson well as he moves on.

"I wish him well as he takes a new direction in life and I know that he will continue to use his many talents to the benefit of the party and the wider Northern Ireland cause," she said.

Mr Simpson served as MP for Upper Bann from 2005 after winning the seat against former first minister and Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble.

At the last general election in 2017, Mr Simpson won the seat with a comfortable majority almost 8,000 votes ahead of nearest rival, John O'Dowd of Sinn Fein.

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