'TUV made its presence felt during the last Stormont Assembly term'
Published 17/12/2013 | 17:20
Last week saw the conclusion of Assembly business for this term, a term in which TUV has again made its presence felt.
It started with the U-turn on the Maze, something that Traditional Unionists had been campaigning for over a number of years. After dismissing opponents as "Jeremiahs", "nutters" and people who needed to be carted off by "men in white coats" the DUP were forced to concede that the Maze Conflict Centre simply would not fly with the unionist electorate.
They dare backtrack on the issue this side of an election, regardless of what Dr Haass may suggest.
Then on the first day back after the summer recess, MLAs where informed that Ann’s Law – the only Private Members Bill passed by the Assembly since the 2011 elections – had received Royal Assent. So much for Sinn Fein’s bluster about a legal challenge.
Two weeks ago the Assembly dismissed Jim Allister’s attempt to salvage some protection for Sunday, by limiting racing to the hours of 1.30pm to 6pm as unnecessary. A week later MLAs accepted an identical amendment from Jim limited to the North West 200.
Also last week, the publication of the report of the Independent Working Group Examining Boxing in Ulster on Tuesday showed that TUV was right to bring the issue of sectarianism in the sport to the floor of the Assembly in November of last year.
Finally, Jim’s forensic questioning during a sitting of the Social Development committee, left Minister Nelson McCausland apologising for "inadvertently misinforming" them over who attended a meeting on double glazing contracts.
Even with a single MLA TUV has been able to drive political debate and have a genuine impact in the Assembly. With Ulster going to the polls in 2014 the party can point to a record of delivery which I am confident will be rewarded by the electorate.