Sinn Fein hold onto N. Ireland seat

Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein on Friday retained their British parliamentary seat of mid-Ulster in a by-election called when deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness stood down as an MP last year.

Francis Molloy won the Northern Ireland seat with a reduced majority for the party after winning 47 percent of the vote.

Molloy had been deputy speaker at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Joint unionist candidate Nigel Lutton was second on 12,781 votes.

Lutton's father was killed by the IRA, and Molloy has been accused of being a suspect in his murder.

Molloy strenuously denies the claims, made by lawmaker David Simpson under the legal protection afforded by parliament.