Labour man calls off his hunger strike but says fight for candidates goes on

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A Portadown man who had hoped to persuade the Labour Party to field candidates in Northern Ireland has called off his hunger strike after a week.

Matt Beeching, a member of the party’s Upper Bann branch, announced on Tuesday that he had made the decision after visiting the doctor.

Matt Beeching

Matt Beeching

“I was informed of a condition that could bring my life to an early end if I should carry on,” he said, adding that the decision was also based on family opinions and issues.

Mr Beeching again stressed that the decision to carry out the protest was his alone and he did not consult anyone from Labour Party Northern Ireland (LPNI) or Labour Party (LP).

He added that although this protest was now over “the fight for the right for Labour Party members in Northern Ireland to stand as candidates is far from over” and that he was more determined than ever.

He added, “I will continue to challenge the Labour Party’s position on this issue wherever and whenever possible.”

He thanked his family and everyone who supported him.

He said he would also like to send a message to those that are considering or thinking of leaving LPNI because of this protest.

“I won’t apologise for the actions I have taken but I am disappointed and sorry that those individuals have decided to or are contemplating stepping down from the party.

“Please don’t resign, carry on the fight because we need you and the people we speak for need you more than ever. Tory/DUP austerity must continue to be challenged.”

He added that the Labour Pary has 3,000 plus candidates in Northern I reland with “no candidates and no voice”.