Monday, 1 June 2009

DUP defections to Conservatives and Ulster Unionists

You snooze you lose! Whilst I enjoyed a few dying rays of sunshine with a good book, both Unionist Lite and Slugger scooped the news that two DUP councillors have left the party to join the Conservatives and UUP respectively. Both are now backing Jim Nicholson in the European election.

Councillor Harry Greenaway (Duncannon & South Tyrone) is joining the Ulster Unionist party whilst Councillor Deirdre Nelson is becoming Ballymena’s first Conservative representative. With a new constituency association formed in North Antrim and a degree of overlap with the UUP, hopefully she will not be the last.

I must confess that I know little about Greenaway, but Nelson is considered an excellent young representative and she lifted the inaugural ‘councillor of the year’ gong at the 2008 Slugger Awards. This is excellent news for the Conservatives and Unionists and boosts the campaign to place Northern Ireland at the heart of UK politics.

Update: O'Neill has quotes from Greenaway and Nelson as well as reaction from Eric Pickles (Conservative chairman) and Owen Paterson MP.

Sir Reg Empey has spoken about Harry Greenaway joining his party.

"Harry Greenaway is a welcome addition to our ranks and I know that he will have a very valuable contribution to make to both the UUP in particular and to wider pro-Union interests in general. I am very pleased that he has joined the UUP and I hope that his decision will serve as an encouragement to others to follow suit"


Seymour Major said...

Wonderful news. I look forward to meeting these politicians.

As with all these defections, one likes to know what is in a politician's soul. Could it be that they have read the tealeaves and seen that there is no future for the DUP?

Whatever the state of conscience of these politicians, there is no doubt that this is a fabulous boost.

I will now go and have a look at Slugger

Anonymous said...

The same Mrs Nelson who sought the DUP nomination for Europe about four months ago?

Anonymous said...

Mrs Nelson on Slugger:

“Sammy Morse is spot on about the London papers and their lack of understanding. Wee Reg has been dreadful over the past week or so and if the Conservative Party is taking advice from him or Lord Trimble then God help us.
I’m inclined to think we need P+J devolved but please can someone tell me how it’s going to be funded- I’m not ideologically opposed, just worried about the bills….

Also, until the Tory Party understand more about NI they should stay on the mainland and play there. A ham-fisted security reponse and over-reaction by the Briish will do massive damage here, short and long-term.
Also agree with comment about them shooting police regardless- look at deprived areas elsewhere.”