Anna Lo MLA said: “The UCUNF link-up is yet again in total disarray. First we had some Tory candidates withdrawing their names from the selection process and now we have one of their most prominent members quitting the party.
“This is a massive blow to the image of UCUNF because they have tried to ensure a gender balance, yet now they have lost one of their most well-known female members. Everyone knows that the UUP has no female Assembly Members and this latest news will damage their bid to have a more balanced representation of society within UCUNF.
“The Tories have never been a success in Northern Ireland, and this announcement shows there’s little evidence that they will change the habit of a lifetime any time in the future.
“There’s now a distinct possibility that there may not be any Tories on the UCUNF ticket for Westminster in any constituency here. That is astounding. Given last week’s UUP no-vote on Hillsborough and now this, I do not see how the Tories can let the failing UCUNF project continue.”