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Journalist 'glad he stood up to be counted' despite election defeat

A freelance journalist who stood as a candidate in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections has told how he is glad he “stood up to be counted”, despite failing to win a seat.

Brian Rowan, who covers political matters for the Belfast Telegraph, ran in his home constituency of North Down as an independent candidate.

But he was eliminated from the count on Friday having polled 3.9 per cent first preference votes.

Writing in Sunday Life after the results had been revealed, he said: “In just a few weeks, I’d persuaded almost 1,200 people to give me their first-preference vote.

“And, at the point of elimination from the North Down count on Friday my tally had risen to 1,376.

“At the end of this election, the DUP and Sinn Fein and the other parties have many, many more reasons to now get on with the politics of peace and to deliver on the issues that really matter to the people who voted for them. The war is over.”

He added: “There is now the opportunity for a new beginning – for the deal of all deals to be finally made and there is no significant opposition to that happening.”

Before working as a freelance writer and broadcaster, Brian had worked for the BBC for more than 20 years, most recently as security editor covering major developments in the peace process.

He is also the author of three books on the peace process.