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UUP sets up new all-party Westminster group

By Liam Clarke

The Ulster Unionists are setting up a new Westminster group for MPs to promote the UK and lobby for the devolved regions.

Plans for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Union were announced by the two UUP MPs, Danny Kinahan and Tom Elliott, on Tuesday.

"Two Tories were also there and I have had expressions of interest from five members of the Labour party. No Lib Dems so far, but I am working on it," said Mr Kinahan.

The plan is to "work together on a strategy that will map out the actions required to maintain a Union that helps its citizens thrive economically, socially, culturally and politically".

It is understood the Labour prospective members include Kate Hoey, the Northern Ireland born MP for Vauxhall; Laurence Robertson, MP for Tewkesbury and chair of the Northern Ireland select committee, and Oliver Colville, another member of the select committee who is MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devenport.

"It is not a group intended to be just Ulster Unionism. I want Westminster to see we are here for the whole UK, not just little Northern Ireland," added Mr Kinahan. A formal launch is expected in September.

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