Belfast Telegraph

Progressive Unionist Party will maintain its UVF link

By Amanda Poole

The Progressive Unionist Party announced last night it would be keeping its relationship with loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force.

At a closed party meeting in east Belfast last night the PUP said their links with the UVF would continue despite its bosses being linked with the murder of Bobby Moffett.

Interim leader Dr John Kyle read a statement detailing the party decision.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, Dr Kyle said he has not put his name forward for the leadership race in October.

“I will be continuing with the party at the moment but I am reviewing my position,” he said.

An official PUP statement read: “After much debate and open conversation the membership decided to maintain the link with these organisations (UVF and Red Hand Commando).

“The Progressive Unionist Party is founded upon the core principles of social justice and conflict transformation. It has provided a vehicle for loyalists to actively participate in the political process.

“If our communities are to |consolidate the peace process we cannot ignore our obligation to those who continue to be underrepresented.”

The announcement follows the report by the Independent Monitoring Commission detailing that the UVF ordered the murder of loyalist Bobby Moffett, as it felt he had flouted their authority.

The IMC report called Moffett’s murder on the Shankill Road in May a “public execution”. It said the death could have been prevented by UVF bosses.

Shortly after the shooting in June the then PUP leader, Dawn Purvis, resigned.

At the time she said she was stepping down from her post because the PUP was, “severely restricted because of its relationship with the Ulster Volunteer Force”.

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