North Belfast DUP MLA Nelson McCausland has called into question the political future of Labour-leaning members of the Ulster Unionist Party. The North Belfast MLA was speaking out after recent comments from UUP members and the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, indicating that they were in favour of full-blown merger between the Ulster Unionist Party and the Conservative Party. Commenting Mr. McCausland said,
“In recent days we have seen leading members of the Ulster Unionist Party and the leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron indicating that they wanted to see full-blown merger between the Ulster Unionists and the Tories. That can’t have been comfortable for people inside the UUP with Labour sympathies like Fred Cobain, Michael McGimpsey or Ken Robinson to witness.
The great strength of Unionism is that it is possible to be a left-wing Unionist a right-wing Unionist or a centrist Unionist. Unionism is bigger than left-right politics and is able to encompass all people with all political positions on socio-economic matters. By aligning themselves in a clear and unambiguous way with a centre-right political party, the leadership of the UUP is effectively telling its members with centrist or left-wing political leanings that they are no longer welcome.
In the past Ken Robinson has been very forthright in expressing his opinion of the Tory Party. Mr. Robinson said:
“The Tory Party is going nowhere fast and is rapidly becoming an irrelevance in British politics. I believe the Tory Party has done little or nothing for Northern Ireland apart from selling us out at Sunningdale and foisting the Anglo-Irish Agreement upon us”
If that is still his opinion, what future will he have inside the Ulster Unionists once they become the Northern Ireland branch of the Conservative Party as so many UUP members seem to want? It is clear that in attempting to hitch his wagon to one political party in Westminster, the Leader of the UUP is going to splinter his party and force many people with Labour-sympathies to leave. Reg Empey needs to ask himself is trying to get David Trimble a cabinet job really worth sacrificing his party over?”

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