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That concludes the Tory-UUP link…

On Hearts & Minds this evening, Noel Thompson asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland:

“The election of Martin McGuinness as First Minister should mean no difference [to unionists] and is in no way a setback?”

The Secretary of State’s response:

“I think the election of Martin McGuinness would be an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here.”

This concludes the relationship between the Tories and the Ulster Unionist Party.

The hesitation he showed during the answer makes me feel that he immediately regretted his choice of words. This will no doubt damage his relationship with unionist politicians.

*UPDATE: Here’s the H&M programme from last night at the point from which I’ve quoted.

One UUP response is a demand for the SoS to step down. Here’s a BBC report which includes the TUV position.

Here’s O’Neill’s take on things, and here’s a local Tory response to the interview.


Filed under: Conservatives, UUP, ,

2 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland said: Open Unionism: That concludes the Tory-UUP link…: On Hearts & Minds this evening, Noel Thompson asked the Secret… […]

  2. owenpolley says:

    Has Paterson gone native at the NIO? Apart from the McGuinness comment, there was all the stuff about it not being his business who people vote for. 9 months ago he was actively canvassing in NI. His party is still supposed to have some sort of link with the UUP and there’s all the stuff about remaining involved in politics here. Surely he should have rather strong opinions on who people should vote for, if the Conservatives have a stake in NI?

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