Duties As A Public Representative Will Take Precedence Over Any Other Commitments

A press release from Anne McCloskey, MB, Independent Candidate for Foyle.

As a GP working in one of Derry’s most deprived areas I’ve seen at first hand the impact that economic policies made by politicians have on the daily lives of ordinary people.

I made the decision to contest the upcoming Foyle Assembly Election last year, to try to change things especially in my hometown.

The neglect of Derry by those elected to look after her interests, and wielding political power for almost a decade now, is causing real hardship, and having an adverse effect on the social, psychological and physical health of her citizens. The imposition of austerity in the guise of “welfare reform" will make matters worse. The new crisis facing the education system, with the certainty of loss of teaching posts and curriculum reduction is but another symptom of political failure. We need accountability, transparency and honesty in public life.

The Independent model of political representation offers and alternative way forward, and a mechanism to break the logjam which the party system creates. Even when founded by well-meaning idealists at first, political parties change with time so that its needs become the end rather than the means, and the efforts and energies of members becomes secondary to the requirements of the organisation. Independents offer the possibility of direct representation, and a way forward based on issues rather than party dogma.

This vision is challenging to the established parties, and whilst I never expected the election campaign to be without its opponents, I was perhaps naively unprepared for the malicious propaganda being spread about me on the doorsteps and on social media. For weeks I’ve disregarded it for the nonsense that it is, but now feel in the interests of truth that I should respond.

It has been widely rumoured that if elected I will serve for a year, and then resign, handing my seat over to any of a range of candidates depending on who you’re talking to. There are obvious logistical difficulties for an independent representative without a party designation doing such a thing. However, notwithstanding this, the fact is that if elected, I plan to use my full term in Stormont to represent those who currently have no voice. As a healthcare professional I serve people regardless of class, colour or creed, and as an MLA I will apply the same principles. I have made arrangements to ensure that my duties as a public representative will take precedence over any other commitments, and I look forward to the challenge and the opportunities ahead.

I have been accused of being too closely associated with pre-existing political organisations and with “dissidents”. My campaign is based on the principles of democracy, and is open and inclusive. If any person supports the crusade for a better deal for Derry, and the promotion of the independent model of politics, they’re welcome to join our team. Indeed I would especially welcome any who to date have felt excluded from the political process, and now see a way in which their interests might be represented. The campaign embraces people from all walks of life and political backgrounds, united to promote common goals. Dissenters in the broadest sense are particularly welcome! Things need to change.

For the record also, I categorically oppose the use of violence to promote political aims or social conformity. This is true locally, nationally and internationally.

Anne McCloskey. MB

Independent Candidate for Foyle.


  1. I remember reading about Magee University being shut by Stormont and Coleraine built for sectarian reasons. Recently the same thing has effectively happened and no political party kicked up anything other than a limp lip service which was as brief and ineffective opposition to the cut-backs there as the opposition to the social welfare reforms/austerity. A lot of valuable irreplaceable lecturers are being forced to take early retirement in the Arts and Social Science faculties. In fact it appears 200+ lecturers are being let go across all campus ' at Ulster University. These people are a hell of a lot more valuable than uneducated self serving political reptiles whether in SF SDLP or Gregory Campbell. They all look cut from the same cloth these days. A few independents may do little good other than remove a few snouts from the gravy train. Here's wishing all independents well.

  2. GP services are already pushed to breaking point and here we have a practicing GP openly stating politics will come first over other
    commitments. Presumably patients? I used to think doctors and health care workers wanted into politics to look after those they already
    serve. This might be their aim, but during the campaign to keep learning disabled centres open, I have seen such people involved
    in both politics and health care together, wielding the axe to cut services and close doors..... You cannot serve two masters well.

  3. "Dissenters in the broadest sense are particularly welcome!"....love that wee statement Anne and well said.

    'GP services are already pushed to breaking point....' Why?