Nepotism and election jibes as Moutray resigns from council

New Craigavon council member Philip Moutray is congratulated by David Simpson MP, and on the right is his dad Stephen Moutray MLA whom he replaces in the Civic Centre..
New Craigavon council member Philip Moutray is congratulated by David Simpson MP, and on the right is his dad Stephen Moutray MLA whom he replaces in the Civic Centre..

Angry charges of double-jobbing, nepotism and “failure to win any elections” flew around the borough council this week as the group leader of the DUP stood down from the Civic Centre.

Stephen Moutray, also an MLA, left office at midnight on Monday – after a speech at the council meeting on his achievement over the past 10 years, and a withering attack on UUP Deputy Mayor Colin McCusker.

The attack followed criticism of DUP ‘double-jobbing’ in Craigavon by Mr McCusker which has coincided with MLA Sydney Anderson and now Mr Moutray stepping down as councillors.

Mr Anderson was replaced by Jonathan Buckley while Mr Moutray’s son Philip has been co-opted in his place.

After listing his main achievement as his talent for keeping down the rates and as accounts scrutineer, helping to re-establish the Lurgan market – and restoring the Master McGrath statue – Mr Moutray, a former Mayor, turned on Mr McCusker.

Mr Moutray described Mr McCusker as “a man who never won an election in his life”, a reference that he had been co-opted to the council to replace Jo-Anne Dobson MLA.

“Jo-Anne Dobson was a double-jobber for a while and took her salary from both establishments,” said Mr Moutray. “I haven’t taken a penny piece from the council.”

The Deputy Mayor initially dismissed the attack as “the rough and tumble of politics”, but responded with an equally vitriolic attack, via a statement afterwards.

Mr McCusker said, “For Stephen Moutray to criticise me for being co-opted onto Craigavon Council, on the very same night that the DUP were co-opting two new members onto council was hypocritical in the extreme.

“The DUP have chosen to replace double-jobbing with nepotism.

“Stephen Moutray is now the third DUP double-jobber to step down from local government only to be replaced by a family member.”

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