Dickson: Empey proves UUP has again missed the point on flags

Alliance Chief Whip Stewart Dickson MLA has hit back at former UUP Leader Sir Reg Empey, saying he should remember the part his own Party played in increasing tensions around the Union Flag protests earlier this year.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “The Ulster Unionist Party has a coloured view of the past. Sir Reg Empey was so keen to blame Alliance for the troubles earlier this year that he forgot to mention his own Party’s role in the Union Flag Protests.

“Not only were the UUP involved in a bogus leaflet campaign before the Belfast City Council vote, but his own Party Leader Mike Nesbitt took great pride in attending parades and protests – including in my own constituency of East Antrim.

“The UUP once again missed the point that for the first time in modern Irish history Republicans and Nationalists recognise the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, another own goal for them.

“While Alliance supported its long standing policy, which delivers for everyone, the UUP delivered on protests and increased fear among many of its supporters.”

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