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Mike Nesbitt a strong and able UUP leader

YOUR correspondent David William (Write Back, April 20) goes to considerable lengths to try to discredit UUP leader Mike Nesbitt, strongly indicating that he does not understand the clearly defined policy of the Ulster Unionist Party. I would like to highlight the misrepresentations which he has made.

1. The UUP will take seats in the Executive if a progressive Programme for Government (PfG) can be agreed beforehand. The status of IRA structures has now been dealt with as it was UUP actions which created the new monitoring body for paramilitary activities.

2. In a first-past-the-post election, pacts are necessary in order to maximise the broad unionist position and prevent, where possible, absentee MPs being elected. There will always be difference of policy and opinion within unionism and these differences can be clearly tested at a PR election.

3. It was not David Cameron, or indeed Mike Nesbitt, who decided UUP policy on the European Union poll. A well-attended special executive meeting of the party on March 5 discussed in detail all the issues surrounding the referendum and then came to a decision. Did any other party engage, or discuss, the pros and cons through a similar process?

The hallmark of a good leader is one who will stand firmly by their principles, but will adjust policy to meet changing circumstances and the emerging needs.

To say no to everything and providing no viable Plan B has been a disaster in the past.


Armagh City

Belfast Telegraph


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