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The DUP should support Conservative and Unionist candidates in South Belfast and Fermanagh South Tyrone – Empey

I’ve just been chatting to the party leader, in the wake of a successful conference speech.

I took the opportunity to ask him about the ‘unionist unity’ question. He was fairly adamant that the Conservatives and Unionists would not be standing aside. It is clear that Arlene Foster’s involvement in the DUP campaign for an electoral deal is particularly irksome to Ulster Unionists.

Sir Reg was scathing about her hypocrisy and motioned towards the Beaten Docket pub as an emblem of the DUP’s chances in any election. When the Conservatives and Unionists select their candidates, Empey insisted, the DUP should simply support them.

Looking ahead to Assembly elections, likely to take place in 2011, the UUP party leader acknowledged that the Conservative and UUP connection would have to be considered. He agreed that it was difficult to envisage candidates from two connected parties fighting against each other, but highlighted legal difficulties in extending the Westminster arrangement.

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5 Responses

  1. Shuffling Geisha says:

    HOLD UP … the UUP/Tory link up cannot be used in NI Assembly? How does that work? UUP were able link up in the PUP in the Assembly.

    Does this mean the link up to be abandoned in 2011 or is the Assembly just exempt from UCUNF? Sounds a mess

  2. Chekov says:

    Hain changed the rules at the behest of the DUP. There are now difficulties forming a group, rather than a single party. Difficulties which I am sure can be overcome.

  3. Michael Shilliday says:

    Not good on detail are you shuffling? The UUP were NOT able to link up with the PUP in the Assembly. That’s a fairly key aspect of that episode.

  4. So what happens with UCUNF then when it comes to the Assembly?

  5. Michael Shilliday says:

    That is a matter to be decided by the joint committee after Westminster. What is clear however is that UUPAG is a precident.

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