Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Tories work hard for us, unlike so-called Labour

Liam Clarke's commentary is usually insightful, but I'm afraid that some of his comments in an article about the Conservative Party and Northern Ireland are completely inaccurate.

Firstly, the idea that Labour has forced a more hands-on approach from the Secretary of State is wrong. Northern Ireland had a tireless advocate in Owen Paterson and his contribution was recognised, particularly by the local business community, who voted him its 'person of the year'.

Theresa Villiers has continued in the same vein, pushing the economic pact in order to build a shared future. Meanwhile the Prime Minister brought the G8 to Northern Ireland out of a profound commitment to this part of the UK.

In recent months it's more accurate to say that the Labour Party has been disengaged.

Under the PM, our special circumstances have been taken into account time and time again, whether it was the PMS crisis, the latest economic arrangements or saving our coastguard service. No modern premier has been as engaged with bread and butter issues in Northern Ireland.

David Cameron's commitment is illustrated by his determination to stand candidates in Northern Ireland, in conjunction with his colleagues in the NI Conservatives. That is something the Labour Party has consistently refused to do and it is its commitment to this part of the UK which is in question.

Trevor Ringland,

NI Conservatives co-chair, Holywood.

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