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Lady Hermon's no slave to the Tory party whip

Owen Polley claims (Comment, May 24) that Lady Sylvia Hermon is a "vocal" New Labour supporter.

Lady Hermon's record shows that more than 60% of the time she voted alongside Conservatives in the Commons - hardly the actions of a vocal New Labour supporter. What annoys UCUNF supporters is that she was not prepared to ascribe slavish loyalty to the Tory Party whip.

By attempting to pigeon-hole Lady Hermon in a way that suits his own analysis, but which ignores reality, Mr Polley adopts the stance of a propagandist rather than a commentator.

Mr Polley chides unionism for being myopically focused on the constitutional question. This is not so.

During the recent election, the DUP ran a positive campaign around the theme of keeping Northern Ireland moving forward: moving forward inside the United Kingdom, of course, but the focus of the campaign was on jobs, public services, health and other important issues.

The only party that focused solely on the constitutional question was UCUNF with their vacuous slogans which voters interpreted as seeking a mandate for slavish devotion to the Tory Party line and rejected.

Unionism needs to come together around shared values. This can be achieved by taking a long, hard look at political realities - not on flights of fancy by those who, having vested their faith in UCUNF, are now looking around for all sorts of spurious reasons to explain away its rejection at the hands of the voters.

ORANGEMAN

Belfast