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Ulster Conservatives branded ‘weak’ by McNarry

A UUP MLA has called the local wing of the Tory Party “weak” and stressed that his party's pact with the Conservatives does not cover next year's Assembly election.

David McNarry underlined his support for unionist unity moves to prevent the Stormont First Minister post going to Sinn Fein.

He said he believed the UUP-Tory pact would be a vote winner in the General Election. He further stated that of the 17 joint candidates selected, 15 had come from Ulster Unionist ranks.

“The prize is the greatest prize that a Northern Ireland political party can seek — involvement in a party that is likely to be the Government of the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Asked if he was confident about the Westminster election, the Strangford MLA said: “Very much so. What we’ve got to sell on the doorstep is an end to the old sectarian soundbite politics.”

Mr McNarry said there was no deal with the Conservatives for the 2011 Assembly Election.

“The deal is with the Tory Party nationally. The local Northern Ireland Tories are a very weak group, very small in numbers.

“What’s happened in the selection process — you can see the talent that they have, without being too disrespectful.

“The big burning question for unionism in the Assembly — and we better get to work on it as soon as the General Election is over is — how do unionists secure the First Minister’s position? The only way to do that in my book is that we have to be united.”

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