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Can UUP explain its CSI change of mind?

In light of the withdrawal of the UUP from the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration working group, I am at a loss to understand how this decision can be justified by this party.

The same party was outraged that Alliance withdrew from the CSI committee only a matter of weeks ago; now it is taking the same route and for similar reasons.

When Alliance saw the writing on the wall and, at the end of May, left that committee, it was pilloried by UUP politicians.

Alliance was attacked by the UUP deputy leader, John McCallister, for lacking the essential qualities of "flexibility and patience" required as part of this process.

Alliance leader David Ford had, in withdrawing from the working committee, been guilty of an "ill-tempered hissy fit", according to former UUP leader Reg Empey.

But now the UUP has also belatedly seen the writing on the wall and has joined Alliance in leaving the committee.

So was it only belatedly that the party recognised that the committee was a talking shop going nowhere with no meaningful commitment from the bigger parties? Are we not entitled to an explanation? Did the required "flexibility and patience" run out for this party only weeks after it had criticised Alliance?

We are entitled to know why and what changed in those weeks to justify the actions now being taken by the UUP.

CLLR TOM CAMPBELL (ALL)

Newtownabbey Borough Council

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