UUP and Tories not united in their politics
The UUP tells us that they are committed to their link-up with the Conservative Party and how they will have real influence on national politics, but then spend much of their time telling us how they are different from them.
How would that work in Westminster if UUP MPs were returned and had to vote according to the Conservative Party whip?
By contrast, the electorate know what they are voting for when they vote DUP. The DUP will always put Northern Ireland first. Our MPs will vote on each issue according to what is best for the people of Northern Ireland. Our brand of unionism will also put the Union above party politics. Sadly, the UUP brand of unionism does whatever the Conservatives tells them to do, and they have therefore ruled out any unity candidates, in spite of the wishes of the vast majority of unionists from both parties and from none. If the UUP/Conservative UCUNF link-up will not work in the interests of unionism, and will not put the interests of Northern Ireland first at Westminster, unionists will quite rightly ask what it is they are standing for.
It is still my hope that we can get agreed unionist candidates for Fermanagh-South Tyrone and South Belfast, but if we cannot then the unionist community will have a clear choice in the forthcoming election and will know which party to vote for.
ALASTAIR ROSS (DUP)
MLA for East Antrim