Sir Reg Empey denied that a deal has been struck with the DUP but admitted that talks had taken place. "No commitments were made". That is doubtless a statement of fact, but it is far from the unambiguous repudiation which the former Communications Director, Alex Kane, chose to make in his News Letter column.
The Executive also resolved to get on with picking eighteen candidates to contest the general election. A process which should now be completed by February 19th. Let's hope that the leadership accepts this clear signal from its membership and begins to lead. There is a suggestion that the Sylvia Hermon issue would be dealt with, conclusively, this week, which would be a major step forward.
The motion (passed unanimously) is reproduced below:
Ulster Unionist Party Executive Committee – 2 February 2010
The Executive Committee of the Ulster Unionist Party support the policy that Policing and Justice should not be devolved in the present context of a dysfunctional Stormont Executive. [This reflects the fact that the matter raised by the UUP at Hillsborough regarding the workings of the Executive were not included in the negotiations. P+J will be devolved into an Executive that is in stasis because of mutual vetoes.]
Urge the early completion and ratification of our candidates list with the Conservative Party for the Westminster election.
Further notes that whilst desirous of better working relationships within political unionism - rejects moves towards ‘bogus’ unionist unity. The UUP notes that for most of its existence the DUP was splitting and demoralising the unionist electorate in general and our party in particular.