Wednesday, 11 April 2018

THE DUP's Jim Wells has candidly spoken out about "how he was treated" by his party.

The South Down MLA felt a promise made to him over his health minister post by then First Minister Peter Robinson was "dishonoured" Mr Wells held the post from 23 September 2014 until 9 May 2015.

He quit on 27 April 2015 after he was falsely accused by Dorothy Gardner of linking child abuse to gay marriage.

"My career was completely destroyed following the allegation and I decided it was best to resign. However, I did this with the understanding that after a time I would return to my ministerial post."

Mr Wells spoke to Mr Robinson explaining that he wanted to be vindicated by returning for a brief period as health minister and then resign to look after his wife Grace.

"The promise from Mr Robinson was dishonoured," added Mr Wells, "and I have never had any suggestion from Arlene Foster that she would be returning me." A DUP insider told this paper that Mr Wells is likely to face investigation over his comments.

Meanwhile, when asked if he could be deselected over his comments, Mr Wells said "it will happen".

However, he credited constituents for their support and the South Down DUP branch saying the issue was with others including party aides and press officers.

Mr Wells said he was surprised that he has remained in politics following the ordeal and said it is all thanks to the people of South Down for keeping him in.

"I never envisaged I would remain as an MLA for the next three years following what happened.

I know my views on abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage are not to everyone's liking but there are people out there who do favour my views on these issues."

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