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UUP is about real politics, not pettiness

In response to Brian Harpur (Write Back, March 15), I wish to clarify my position on unionist unity and correct the points he made in relation to how the UUP voted on the devolution of policing and justice last week.

First of all, my comment that unionist unity was no longer a likely option was taken out of context. I said that clearly the DUP have consummated their political marriage to Sinn Fein and, in doing so, ditched the prospect of unionist unity.

But at what price? Freezing out fellow unionists, overloading the already malfunctioning Executive and turning it into a dysfunctional liability.

Are these the actions of a party that really want to work towards unionist unity? I agree that we need to look at a long-term strategy - that is why we are working with the Conservative Party. Mr Harpur says that that link is now untenable because we differed in view from the Conservatives; to the contrary, I believe this shows that the UUP will always put the needs of Northern Ireland first and David Cameron respected and accepted our concerns.

That is the difference between ourselves and the DUP: we are not about petty party politics; we are about real politics.


MLA for Strangford

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