Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Paisley article shows that the DUP are in denial

In recent weeks, the Press has been dominated by calls from the DUP in relation to unionist deals, unionist pacts and unionist unity. Ian Paisley Junior's commentary (December 10) is just one of them.

The DUP seems to be in utter denial. In calling for unionist unity there is a complete and utter failure on their part to acknowledge that it was the DUP who created a division in unionism in the first place. When Ian's father founded the DUP in 1971 he created a split in unionism which has lasted for nearly 40 years.

In his column, Ian criticises the Ulster Unionist Party for our working relationship with the Conservative Party. He claims the UUP do exactly what we are told by our Conservative colleagues - what a load of rubbish!

During his address to our conference last year, David Cameron made the strongest commitment yet by a Conservative Leader to the Union; he clearly stated that he would not be neutral on the Union, which has been Government policy for over 30 years.

It seems odd to me that Ian thinks that the UUP's relationship with the pro-Union Conservative party is wrong, but his conversion to being in government with Sinn Fein is OK!

Ian also condemns our intention to stand in every seat - yet this is what the DUP did in 2005.

What Ian offers as an olive branch will be received as intended - a tactic by the DUP to reverse some of the damage they faced at the European election in June.

This is a short-term point scoring exercise to divert attention from their failures. If the DUP had been serious about a pact, correspondence would not have been received through the media, but through senior party officials. The only long-term solution to this is for unionists to unite around policy. This is how we will ensure that Northern Ireland is placed at the heart of the Union.

SIR REG EMPEY MLA

Leader, Ulster Unionist Party

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