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United unionist party will only benefit Robinson

The gaping split in the DUP over the issue of unionist unity begs the question: who would benefit most from a single unionist party?

In the past few days, former DUP leader Ian Paisley said a single unionist party was a non-starter. However, Peter Robinson has made it very clear that his goal is a single unionist party.

I believe this is because Mr Robinson is the only person who would benefit from a single unionist party.

The Westminster election showed that neither South Belfast nor Fermanagh-South Tyrone would automatically be retaken by a united unionist party.

The only non-unionist seat which would definitely be re-taken would be Peter Robinson's former East Belfast seat. Equally, a united unionist party would likely keep Mr Robinson in the post of First Minister. It is, therefore, self-evident that he would reap enormous gains from a united unionist party. However, would unionism benefit?

A united unionist party may benefit Mr Robinson, but I have to ask why the UUP should sacrifice its existence to prop up a leader who has overseen the disintegration of his own party and who has willingly sabotaged unionist safeguards in our country's elected institutions?

In short: why should the UUP pay for Peter Robinson's mistakes?

ALEXANDER REDPATH

Chairman, Lagan Valley Young Unionists

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