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Tories trying to poach our MLAs, claims David McNarry

Ulster Unionist Assembly Member David McNarry has accused the Conservative Party of trying to "buy" and "poach" two of his party's MLAs.

Ulster Unionist Assembly Member David McNarry has accused the Conservative Party of trying to "buy" and "poach" two of his party's MLAs.

"There are rumours of the Tories trying to buy two MLAs and those rumours grow stronger by day. They know it is the only way they can get MLAs," said the Strangford MLA.

Mr McNarry declined to name the two MLAs but his comments reflect speculation that has grown since Andrew Feldman, the Conservative Party chairman, said he intended setting up a new regional party here. Lord Feldman spelt out his intentions in an article for the Belfast Telegraph.

So far, however, prospective recruits have been at a lower level. Yesterday a spokesman for the Way Forward Group think tank predicted most of its members would join the Tory group.

Member David Nimmons, a civil rights veteran, said "I will be in a minority, most people will be joining the Conservatives."

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