During the election campaign, the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson made repeated promises that, in the event of the Tories coming to power, allowances paid to abstentionist Members of Parliament would cease.
Now that the Tories have come to power, it is essential for him to see that promise implemented.
Owen Paterson and his UUP colleagues made much play of this policy during the election campaign. They also made promises regarding the ending of dual-mandates.
Both of these policies, if implemented, would mean that Sinn Fein would stop being able to suck money out of the taxpayer for doing nothing at Westminster and that the five Sinn Fein MPs would not be able to continue serving as Assembly Members.
Now that Owen Paterson has been installed in Hillsborough Castle, people will want to see him make good his promises on these issues. It will be interesting to see if our new Secretary of State will implement these two UUP/Tory flagship policies — or will he back down when confronted by Sinn Fein?
DR JUSTINE McKEE
Ballycastle, Co Antrim