East Belfast: A voice on the sidelines?

The vote in East Belfast is being painted as a two horse race between Alliance and the Democratic Unionist Party. With many analysts portraying it as an opportunity to choose between two vastly different paths for the electorate, you would be forgiven for thinking this was a decisive vote. But in reality, we are being offered no more than a Hobson's Choice.

A choice between irrelevance under the Democratic Unionist Party or irrelevance under Alliance. For whilst both offer an alternative vision for the United Kingdom, neither will have the influence to deliver upon them. Once again, East Belfast will be pushed to the sidelines of British politics - forced to watch as others make the decisions which will mould our nation's future.

Both the DUP and Alliance will of course reject this, but the writing is already on the wall. In prior elections when the DUP have made grand statements regarding their impending relevance - they have always fallen shorts. Whilst alternatively, Naomi Long will attempt to claim relevance through her sister party, the Liberal Democrats. The same Liberal Democrats that she refused to sit with in Government during her previous term as a Member of Parliament.

It therefore seems that whilst the DUP will continue in its failed venture for relevance, the Alliance Party will succeed in its venture to avoid being relevant. This is the decisive choice that the analysts have hailed for East Belfast. This is our Hobson's Choice.

But thankfully - there is an alternative. The Northern Ireland Conservatives. For in East Belfast - it is only the Northern Ireland Conservatives that can challenge the DUP and Alliance. As the party that came third in the 2015 Westminster election, we are best placed to overcome the power struggle of these two feuding parties. Furthermore, we are the only party that can deliver upon our manifesto at Westminster - with neither Alliance or the DUP even able to fulfil on their Assembly pledges.

As the candidate for the Northern Ireland Conservatives in the upcoming election, it is my ambition to offer East Belfast a voice in the heart of Government. Whether it's through working with my Scottish colleagues to protect our whole Union, or backing Theresa May during the Brexit negotiations - I will ensure our vision for a more prosperous and United Union is delivered.

At home, I am passionate about creating more jobs for the local community through supporting business and entrepreneurs. It is wrong that young people feel that they have no alternative but to leave East Belfast for either London or Dublin - and it is time for change. I am also eager to tackle the inadequate support provided to the most vulnerable in our society. Whether through working to decrease homelessness or improve mental health provisions - I aim to be a champion for those who need it most.

So, on June 8th I believe that there is a clear choice: we can either vote to continue being sidelined by the legacy parties or we can vote for a Government under Theresa May. A Government which will put East Belfast at the heart of Westminster.