Peter Robinson’s unity plea to new UUP man Tom Elliott.
DUP leader Peter Robinson has said he is looking forward to “working closely” with his new UUP counterpart Tom Elliott.
Congratulating the Fermanagh MLA on his leadership win, Mr Robinson again stressed his wish to see developing unionist unity.
Mr Elliott has ruled out a DUP-UUP merger but is expected to back co-operation moves.
Mr Robinson said: “I have known Tom for many years and I look forward to working closely with him to advance the interests of unionism.
“The DUP is ready and willing to explore areas of co-operation and unity with our colleagues in the Ulster Unionist Party.
“Already we have seen positive signs of this: in Tom's own Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency both parties worked together to advance the candidature of Rodney Connor and in Belfast the parties are coming together through an initiative supported by myself and Tom's predecessor Sir Reg Empey. I look forward to building on those positive developments in the days ahead.”
The DUP leader also said: “Time is pressing and hard decisions will have to be made, but for today, I congratulate Tom and send him my best wishes as he takes over from Reg Empey.”