Clearly she believes that the UUP's dalliance with Conservatives entitles her fellow champagne socialist, and Tory turncoat, to exact any punishment he sees fit.
The party responded with the following statement:
“The Ulster Unionist Assembly Group took its decision to oppose the devolution of policing and justice at this time with the full support of the Ulster Unionist Party Officer team and with the full support of the Party Executive Committee. This is how the UUP make democratic decisions. It is regrettable that Lady Sylvia’s position does not reflect the view of the party and it is disappointing that she failed to voice her concern at the Party Executive meeting rather than in the media.”
“There is widespread anger throughout the party at the approach of the Secretary of State, especially in the days leading up to the decision to attempt to pressurize and bully the UUP. In addition to this pressure, Mr Woodward was also supportive of the exclusion of the UUP from the Hillsborough negotiations.”
For some considerable time now it has been Hermon's habit to absent herself from the decision making process within the UUP, and throw brickbats from outside. We can only suppose that her attacks will become more frenzied in the run up to a general election which will probably see her stand as an independent, against the Conservatives and Unionists.
Will the Ulster Unionist party's disciplinary committee permit Hermon to snipe from the sidelines, or will it apply its own rules? It is worth quoting the UUP standing order on discipline:
4: Members of the Ulster Unionist Party, elected representatives and members of Representative Bodies shall comply with the Collected Rules and Standing Orders of the Ulster Unionist Party and its Executive Committee and this implies actions that are clearly conducive to furthering the aims and objectives of the Party. Members and elected representatives must act with integrity in the furtherance of the Party’s aims, objectives and policies.
A public attack on the Party, or on Party policy, by a member of the Party or of a Representative Body, will generally be regarded as an act of indiscipline.
Hermon is a high profile representative, and she has persistently released statements which can be considered acts of indiscipline. Will she be punished and, if she is not, are the party's own rules being ignored by the very people who are charged with upholding them?