Ulster Unionist leadership will regret decision to join up with paramilitary representatives

Alliance Councillor Tom Campbell has called on the Ulster Unionist Party to clarify its position on law and order following the announcement that PUP Leader David Ervine has been welcomed into its Stormont ranks.

Cllr Campbell, a member of Newtownabbey Council, said: “The Ulster Unionists, as a self styled party of law and order, have a lot of explaining to do regarding this decision.

“As a party it has consistently attacked others for having to work with the representatives of republican paramilitaries yet deems it acceptable to come to a close political arrangement with the representatives of the UVF, a loyalist paramilitary organisation heavily involved in crime.

“However,it seems that the Ulster Unionist party can find one set of paramilitaries acceptable for entirely sectarian reasons. Can the party disassociate itself from paramilitary activities when it has a direct political link with those who represent their interests? What has been offered to the PUP in return for its support? What difference is there between Sinn Fein and the PUP other than the obvious sectarian one?

“I believe that the Ulster Unionists will have cause to regret this short-term decision. I know that many of their traditional supporters are dismayed at this development. For many it appears the ultimate sacrifice of principle over power. It would appear that the Ulster Unionists are driven by the pursuit of power regardless of the consequences. One wonders what it would have been said if the DUP had come to such an arrangement.”


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