Parsley joins Conservatives - confirmed.

The Conservatives have issued a press release welcoming his arrival:

The Conservatives are delighted to announce that Councillor Ian Parsley has resigned from the Alliance Party and joined our Party.

Tim Lewis, Chairman of the Conservatives in Northern Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Ian to our Party. Ian is determined to continue his hard work on North Down Council where he will sit as a Conservative. This move once again shows the growing appeal of the Conservatives throughout Northern Ireland.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson said:

“The mood for change in Northern Ireland is very strong. I am delighted that Ian Parsley, who is a rising star of the new generation of Northern Ireland politicians, has decided to join David Cameron’s Conservative Party in order to help bring Northern Ireland into mainstream UK politics.”

Commenting on his move, Ian Parsley said:

“Having given significant thought to the future of Northern Ireland I came to the conclusion that, with a General Election pending, the best means of delivering a shared future and a genuinely new type of politics would be through David Cameron’s Conservative Party.”


Anonymous said…
I have to ask, why the historical absense of Tories and Labour in NI?
Owen Polley said…
Alec - the Ulster Unionists have traditionally been aligned with Conservatives until relatively recently. Labour are a more modern invention, as you know, and were traditionally sympathetic to a united Ireland. With a devolved administration at Stormont our politics have taken their own route.
Anonymous said…
Oh, yes, Chekov. I guess what I meant was why those parties don't seem to have a formal presence in NI.

Is it that politics were traditionally alligned along communal lines? Who, for instance, do the Church of Ireland members and non-conformists vote for?

There may be summat which I don't know about in the history of British Labour which inclined to a United Ireland, but the impression I've got this impression came from an improperly formed idea of left which led to the Blue Shirtish Maria Gartland seeing no contradiction in joining the Tories; as well as the perpetual opposition of codgers like Tony Benn.
Owen Polley said…
Alec I'll get back to you on rest. But briefly, Labour policy was to be a 'persuader' for Irish unity, until Blair. That's certainly my understanding.
Anonymous said…
Aye, that's pretty much what I was driving at... pre-Blair, the Labour policy had been pretty much "anything which the West and British policy wasn't", with the implicit tenet that all problems in NI traced back to Imperialism and a majority of inhabitants who didn't think so were also the cause.

Then Blair came along and made the party electable.

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