A source close to the Socialist Workers Party and People Before Profit Alliance have confirmed to News From Derry that sitting MLA Eamon McCann will step aside as MLA for Foyle as early as January 2018 if elected to the new Stormont Assembly.
The source said that McCann had a plan in place to step down in May this year but that plan was scuppered as a result of the RHI crisis which collapsed the Stormont Assembly. The source said,”Eamon McCann is not getting any younger and there was no chance he would see out his first full term as an elected MLA. The early mornings and grueling travelling schedule have taken their toll on him and he has been largely invisible since being elected as an MLA for Foyle in May 2016. Many of his supporters feel let down as they were promised a new beginning which quite simply never materialised. Instead Eamon McCann has simply faded into the background and the new beginning didn’t happen.”
It has been widely speculated about for some time as to who would replace Eamon as MLA for Foyle but we can exclusively reveal that local man Shaun Harkin is being lined up to take over Eamon’s seat once it is vacated. Those well laid plans have now been put back until the beginning of 2018.
Eamon McCann would have been content to coast along as he has done for the past six months until May and then hand over the reigns to Shaun Harkin but corruption in Stormont has reset the clock on that plan and because of the poor profile of Shaun Harkin the PBP leadership didn’t want to risk their hard fought seat in the hands of unknown Harkin who has recently returned for the United States and have ordered the Foyle branch to get behind McCann assuring their members that he is their best chance of retaining the seat.
With the Foyle constituency being reduced from six to five seats competition is going to be extremely tough. Sinn Fein and the SDLP are going after four of the seats announcing two candidates each with at least one and possibly two of these under threat from a vibrant independent candidate, a unionist and Eamon McCann.