Phil takes over dad’s role

Councillor Philip Moutray. INLM49-131gc
Councillor Philip Moutray. INLM49-131gc

He’s only 22 and a chip off the old block as he is the son of DUP MLA Stephen Moutray, but Phil Moutray, the latest councillor to be co-opted to Craigavon Council, denies nepotism played a role.

Alderman Moutray stood down from council last month and the cries of double-jobbing turned to nepotism when it was announced his son Phil was to become Craigavon’s newest councillor.

However the former Lurgan College student says he is ‘own man’ .

The business studies student was coy about following into the family ‘business’ and would not be tied down as to whether he plans to make politics his future.

When asked if he would like to follow all the way in his father’s footsteps, Phil said: “That’s not something I’ve thought about really. I’d like to do something on my own. I’ll see what opportunities arise come May.” When asked if he would stand for election in May, he said: “I’ll see what opportunities arise in May.”

When it was put to him he may only be a councillor for a few months, he said: “I believe there is a shadow council. I am in here to see. Obviously with my dad being an MLA, an opportunity arose for a council seat. I put my name forward and I was selected and I was very happy to be selected.”

Phil hopes to focus on leisure services. When asked if he didn’t think they were up to scratch, he said: “I think there is always room for improvement.” He said he is looking forward to the planning of a new leisure facility at Craigavon Lakes and getting it up and running. He said he wasn’t concerned that older colleagues would be upset at a ‘young buck’ coming in with the ‘super council’ on the horizon. “You don’t understand the DUP. We are family. It’s a democratic process.” He denied he had political ambitions and preferred to describe it as ‘political interest’.