Speaking about the Aontú canvass in South Belfast, Chris McHugh said:

“The Aontú team and I have been covering hundreds of houses across many areas in South Belfast, listening to people’s views and challenges over the last few weeks. There are a number of issues that are consistently being raised: the absence of devolved government for almost three years and a general distrust of the establishment parties; the deterioration of our health service and lengthening waiting lists; the pending nurses’ strike; challenges in the education system such as the transfer test and the pressures on 10 and 11 year-olds facing academic selection at such a young age; the failure of universal credit and the pending bedroom tax; the hugely disruptive impact of Brexit; and the increase in homelessness, poverty, drug abuse and suicide.

“Many people have also voiced real concerns around the impending and extreme Westminster abortion legislation and feel that at the very least, any change to our abortion laws should have been decided by people in the north, not lords and MPs in London.

“Unfortunately, the general sense on many of the doors is one of hopelessness and disenfranchisement, which is extremely concerning. The myriad of issues are certainly challenging, however, if elected, I promise to fight on behalf of every man, woman and child to tackle these challenges head-on and to ensure that everyone has the economic stability and confidence to live productive and fulfilling lives. No one can or should be left behind.

“Establishment political parties continue to fail our people.

“Over the coming days, I will be detailing Aontú’s policies and approach towards each of the critical areas that are being raised on the doorsteps.”