Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Vote Conservative and make your voice heard

A NUMBER of local members of the House of Commons have expressed alarm that proposals to allow only English representatives to vote on English matters could dilute their effectiveness.

It's understandable that MPs are wary of creating a two-tier parliament at Westminster, with members from devolved regions deprived of a say on English issues which nevertheless have a real bearing on policy across the UK.

However, Northern Ireland MPs have already consigned themselves to second-class status by refusing to participate in mainstream national politics.

Indeed, one of the most vocal complainants, Naomi Long, decided not to join the Government, alongside Liberal Democrats with whom her party is allied.

Rather than make her constituents' voices heard, she chose five years of powerless isolation. The same can be said for all the current Northern Ireland MPs, who decide to stand outside the mainstream of UK politics.

The Northern Irish Conservative party will offer voters the opportunity to make their votes meaningful within the context of UK politics. We've been fortunate enough to have a Secretary of State who has effectively become the mainstream MP which Northern Ireland otherwise lacks.

He's championed our cause in the Cabinet and the Government has in turn delivered a favourable financial settlement, a solution to the PMS crisis, reduced Air Passenger Duty and has saved our Coastguard centre in Bangor.

At the next general election the electorate will have the choice to vote for a modern, centre-Right, pro-Union Northern Irish party, rather than parties which consign themselves to a semi-detached role at Westminster.

JULIAN ROBERTSON

Northern Ireland Conservatives

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