News > A flash in the Bann?

Added on 18-Nov-2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007 Freddie Mercury tribute artist Harry Hamilton has revealed he may give up Queen - if he's selected to stand for Parliament! For the man best known for belting out Queen anthems with his band Flash Harry is hoping to be the Ulster Unionist Party's candidate in Upper Bann at the next General Election.

And he says he would be willing to hang up his jumpsuit if it was " creating the wrong image".

The Co Armagh man, who joined the UUP in 1995, applied to stand for the Upper Bann seat last October.

He told Sunday Life: "I'm 42 years old and I don't envisage being a Freddie Mercury impersonator for the rest of my life.

"Music will always be important but I won't always be doing Queen shows. If I was selected for Westminster the impersonations would take a back seat if there was a conflict of interest or if it was creating the wrong image."

But Harry's hopes of rocking voters at the ballot box could bite the dust, thanks to new UUP selection rules.

Currently, each local association member votes for the candidate they want. But under the new proposals each nominated applicant will be selected by a panel appointed by the party's executive.

And if Harry and his only opponent, Portadown businessman Robert Oliver, fail to impress, the Upper Bann association may have to re-advertise.

A UUP spokesman explained: "We need to make the selection process a bit more representative of Northern Ireland. In the past, the party as a whole had no way of knowing the gender balance or age of the candidates we were presenting to the electorate. That's got to change. We need to get more women and young people."

Robert Oliver, who unsuccessfully challenged David Trimble's leadership in 2004, has criticised the proposals, arguing they will result in a centralisation of power.

But Harry says he is happy to abide by the new rules.

"Upper Bann will be the first association to come against this. I'm not doing this to embarrass myself. I've a lot to offer and I've no reason to suspect that I would be rejected."

Submitted by: mickyparise

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