On the morning of the DUP conference, this intriguing story from The Newletter:
THE chairman of the UK Independence Party has said the party will consider an alliance with Jim Allister’s TUV in future elections.
Paul Nuttall, UKIP MEP for the North West of England, was speaking to the News Letter yesterday after a low-key exploratory visit to the Province.
UKIP has only one politician in Northern Ireland at present — Kilkeel councillor Henry Reilly, who defected from the UUP.
Mr Nuttall described TUV leader Jim Allister as “a good guy” who worked closely with UKIP in Europe when an MEP.”
And Jim seems happy enough to at least consider the prospect:
Mr Allister told the News Letter that his party would not be “slamming any doors” on the suggestion.
“I have a track record of working with them at a tactical level. We haven’t had discussions with them of that nature (about an alliance) but undoubtedly, on European issues, there is a fair degree of consensus between our parties.”
“Obviously I knew quite a lot of UKIP MEPs in Europe and had good working relationships with them on the big issues,” he said.
There is a logic to such a link-up, at least certainly from the TUV’s point of view, providing very handy finance and logistical support and perhaps a dose of extra credibility, but I wonder what’s in it for the UKIP?
Mr Nuttal apparently believes there are concrete electoral possibilities:
“We think there is a huge gap for a non-sectarian, pro-British party in Northern Ireland that believes in independence from the European Union,” he said, adding that the DUP have not voted on an EU referendum and are “not performing” in government while slating the Tories for backing out of promises for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty
Has he really done his research on this one?