Why does Sir Reg dance to the Tory tune?
It's a matter of regret to me that the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party seems determined to spurn the offer of unionist unity and co-operation in Fermanagh and South Tyrone and in South Belfast. The DUP has made three different offers to Reg Empey and every one has been rejected out of hand.
These offers are in the public domain:
1 The UUP would take one seat and the DUP would take the other and neither party would fight the other in a General Election.
2 Someone from either party could fight the seats as unity candidates, with the endorsement of both parties.
3 Someone from outside either party could fight the seats as unity candidates with the endorsement of both parties.
The DUP has made these offers in spite of the fact that the party was actually the largest unionist grouping at the most recent Westminster and Assembly elections in both constituencies.
I believe the mean-spirited response of the Ulster Unionists is totally out-of-step with the mood of the unionist electorate.
The time has come for Sir Reg Empey to be the bigger man, stop dancing to the Tory tune and do what almost everyone in the unionist community recognises to be the right thing.
Certainly unionists in South Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone will not forgive those who trample over the desire of the unionist community for co-operation and unity.
JONATHAN CRAIG (DUP)
MLA for Lagan Valley