Former Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott does not believe recent comments by Arlene Foster have forced him into a decision about running in the upcoming General Election.

Last week, the DUP said it will step aside for their rivals in the Fermanagh South Tyrone constituency as the UUP came under pressure not to run a candidate against her deputy Nigel Dodds in North Belfast.

“They have put there position out front. I don’t see a major issue with it, it’s just them making a statement,” said Mr. Elliott.

In a statement on Saturday, Mrs. Foster said she believes in unionist co-operation and parties working together to maximise representation.

Mrs Foster said: “The people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone deserve to be represented in the House of Commons rather than an absentee MP standing on the sidelines.

“Despite the DUP being the largest unionist party in the constituency, it is right to put wider interest ahead of narrow party politics and indicate our support for Tom Elliott to re-take this seat.

“This is something voters from across the unionist community want to see happening and we will be urging DUP supporters to put their full weight behind Tom’s campaign.

But incoming UUP leader Steve Aiken had indicated he was not in favour of participating in unionist pacts for the December 12 poll.

A unionist pact saw Mr. Elliott win the Fermanagh South Tyrone Westminster seat in 2015, but Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew won the seat back in 2017.

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew and Alliance candidate Matthew Beaumont reacted to Mrs. Foster’s statement with Mr. Beaumont saying the people of Northern Ireland should have a choice in who they vote for.