SDLP Strangford representative Conor Houston has said he will not be deterred after a large number of his Assembly election posters were taken down.
Almost all of Mr Houston’s posters in the Newtownards area were removed shortly after being put up.
Mr Houston has reported the theft of the posters to the police and is in the process of having new ones put back up.
Mr Houston said:
“It’s extremely disappointing and disheartening that so many of my election posters were taken down shortly after being put up – but I won’t be deterred. The small element who wish to silence me or my campaign will not be successful and I would urge them to desist with such futile acts.
“The people behind the removal of my posters do not represent or speak for anyone. Since deciding to run for the Assembly the vast majority of the people I have met throughout Strangford have been warm and welcoming. They are sick of small-minded groups trying to exert their waning influence over local communities in a vain attempt to keep them stuck in the past.
“I decided to get involved in politics because I believed people in Strangford and right across the North deserve better than they have been getting for the past decade plus. We need parties and politicians who are going to put people first and deliver on the issues that matter to them. The sinister elements behind the removal of my posters have delivered nothing for their communities but misery.
“I am determined to be a committed voice for people in this area and I will not be intimidated from that by anyone or anything. Acts like this are what keeps our politics stuck in the past, stops this place from realising its full potential and traps our young people in a cycle of underachievement. It underlines the need for change. I have reported the theft of my posters to police and I will be back on the campaign trail today."