Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Cameron: Northern Ireland voters have say like never before

Conservative leader David Cameron

Voters in Northern Ireland can have a say in forming the next Government — and show support for change at Westminster, Conservative leader David Cameron argues today.

Writing exclusively for the Belfast Telegraph, the man tipped to become the next Prime Minister rejects claims his party’s links with Ulster Unionists risks undermining the power-sharing administration at Stormont.

Attempting to build on the success of the two parties first joint candidate, Jim Nicholson, in the European elections — he was the first unionist elected, ahead of the DUP’s Diane Dodds — Mr Cameron also reiterated his hope that the project will not just draw support by Protestants and unionists.

Less than a month after announcing in the Belfast Telegraph he plans legislation to end ‘double-jobbing’, the Tory chief said Northern Ireland MPs have little or no say on issues including taxes, pensions and welfare, as well as social and foreign policy.

“In less than a year’s time, people across the United Kingdom will have the opportunity to give their verdict on Gordon Brown’s discredited Government and vote for change at Westminster. People in Northern Ireland can play their part in that by supporting the only candidates that can help to form an alternative Ggovernment to Labour – the Conservatives and Unionists.”

Denying that the introduction of national politics risks devolution, he added: “I do not want to be Prime Minister of just England, but of the whole United Kingdom.

“It follows that the government I lead should seek to draw on the talents of people from all parts of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland.”

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