Dickson says there is no difference between UUP and DUP

Alliance Chief Whip Stewart Dickson MLA has said that Mike Nesbitt’s decision to support a Unionist Unity candidate in the Mid-Ulster by-election demonstrates that there is no difference between the UUP and DUP.

His comments follow the UUP Leader’s admission that he is open to supporting more unity candidates in the future.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “Over the course of the weekend, Mike Nesbitt and Danny Kennedy desperately tried to convince the public that there are major differences between the UUP and the DUP. They failed.

“On the very small number of policies where there appear to be variations, namely on the redevelopment of the Maze site and the proposed Education and Skills Authority, the UUP puts forward less progressive policies.

“This is not what the electorate expects from what Mike Nesbitt has described as a’pluralist’, ‘progressive’ Ulster Unionist Party that supposedly offers a’positive’ and ‘credible’ alternative.

“The decision to support a Unionist Unity candidate and his subsequent comments that he may do so again destroyed any remnants of the illusion that there is any meaningful difference between the two main unionist parties.

“Similar tactics by unionists in Fermanagh and South Tyrone failed three years ago and it is very unlikely that they will succeed this year in Mid-Ulster. This decision has only increased tensions and strengthened the belief that the UUP still has a tribal ‘us and them’ attitude.

“The events of the last week have demonstrated once again that the Alliance Party offers the only meaningful alternative to DUP/Sinn Fein dominance. Alliance is a party for everyone, offering a truly progressive vision for the future of Northern Ireland.”


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