Former UUP MLA defects to the DUP

Sam McBride in today’s News Letter has an interesting report noting the defection of former UUP MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Alastair Patterson to the DUP.

Speaking about the decision Patterson said;

“This move to join the DUP was a step I needed to make. At the Assembly election in May the people of Northern Ireland delivered a clear and resounding message of endorsement of Arlene Foster as their First Minister and the leader of unionism.

“Unionism in Northern Ireland is in an extremely strong position and will get even stronger if more people like myself make the right decision and get behind Arlene and support her as their leader of unionism.

“Under her leadership the DUP can and will dominate Northern Ireland politics for many years to come.

“Being a unionist with very traditional core values as a churchman, an Orangeman, and a bandsman I feel that the DUP clearly and articulately represent these values.

“Consequently, this is the right time for me to join the party.”

He was co-opted earlier in the year as an MLA, but lost his bid for re-election at the most recent Assembly Election.


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • chrisjones2


    So he was co-opted then, even with that, made such an impression that he was dumped by the electorate in May so now joins the DUP.

    I am sure that it is all in the interest of the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone!!

  • Ultonian

    He talks of dominating politics. Wrong motivation, surely? Should it not be about helping constituents and bringing Northern Ireland to a better place?

  • Pasty

    He would have been better saying that he joined the DUP as he thinks he has a better chance of getting elected with them in the future. But he will first have to convince them that he should be fast tracked to election candidate in place of some long standing member of the DUP at future elections. He really is in it for himself.

  • Roger

    “a churchman, an Orangeman, and a bandsman”
    that’s just what UKNI needs another of.

  • Nimn

    “Consequently, this is the right time for me to join the party.”
    Its one thing to bill and coo if a serving MLA defects its quite another for an electoral failure to join your ranks.
    Why now and not before you stood as a UUP MLA Alastair? Perhaps its because you weren’t elected and were unlikely to be by UU voters in future.
    Main chance politics strikes again, but the churchmen, Orangeman and bandsmen will be delighted.
    Also the DUP may dominate Unionism at the moment, but that should not extend to believing they dominate politics. They have a hard five years ahead, especially on the economy and with SF nipping away at the CT ‘done deal’ already.

  • chrisjones2

    Oh come on….its the DUP ….. they are very into Domination (in most cases) and Submission in some others (or so I am told)

  • NotNowJohnny

    After being co-opted as a UUP MLA in January 2016, Mr Patterson said;

    “The reaction that I have got has been overwhelming. I am very humbled by the reaction of people, I am certainly looking forward to what lies ahead. Tom Elliott has always been one of those men who I have known for a long time; a great man in Fermanagh-south Tyrone and one of those men I aim to follow. There’s a change in politics in Northern Ireland and the Ulster Unionist Party is a party that sticks by its word and stands up for what is right,” he said.

    [And then in the same article]

    He describes DUP leader and fellow MLA Arlene Foster as “a formidable politician” and added: “She has taken on a new role, she has been elevated to the leader of the DUP, taking on the role as first minister, and I wish her well in that. But we still have the DUP, we still have the same policies, we still have them sitting in government with Sinn Fein.”


    This week in the News Letter article Alene Foster described Mr Patterson as “someone of the utmost integrity and has much to offer Northern Ireland as we move forward. ”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As that Fermanagh educated wit Oscar Wilde once said “Consistency is a quality of the unimaginative…..”

  • Granni Trixie

    Funny enough,. “dominating”‘ was the word which stood out for me as it sounded like a rather old fashioned vision of NI. But then I felt the same when Jonathan Bell referred to SB as having ‘the potential to be a unionist stronghold’.

  • Reader

    Pasty: But he will first have to convince them that he should be fast tracked
    to election candidate in place of some long standing member of the DUP
    at future elections.

    That worked OK for Arlene.

  • Heather Richardson

    Naughty, naughty!

  • Teddybear

    Too him long enough. How many ways are there to keep the union?

  • Robert ian Wiliams

    So there you have it….Unionism continues to consolidate and Republicanism declines ( 5 per cent down at the last election) and 70,000 less votes than at its peak. In one of those ironies that mark all political history, Unionism offers to thinking Catholics who treasure their Church and its teachings an option from the ungodly apostasy of SF and SDLP…that of maintaining the core values common to both conservative Protestants and orthodox Catholics, namely opposition to same sex marriage and abortion. As the Unionists of 1912 shouted ,” Home rule is Rome rule”.. good Catholic folk in 2016 should proclaim, ” Irish unity means secular God less rule.”

  • Ernekid

    ‘Thinking Catholic’ is an oxymoron

  • NotNowJohnny

    Of course the rest of the UK is much more secular than Ireland with gay marriage and abortion both having been made lawful. It makes you wonder why the DUP continues to support the union with ungodly Great Britain. A decline in Christianity, lack of respect for the sabbath, 24 hour licensing laws, abortion on demand, gay marriage, a rise in secularism, removal of prayers from school assemblies, the list goes on. Is it any wonder so many of the ‘good Catholic folk’ here want out of the U.K. Surely any true God fearing person shouldn’t vote for a party which so strongly supports Northern Ireland being under the jurisdiction of a state which rules in such a Godless way?

  • ted hagan

    Not very impressive standing for the UUP just weeks ago and then deserting.
    Very honourable.

  • Msiegnaro

    He is being earmarked for Lord Morrow’s seat.

  • Msiegnaro

    He also isn’t from FST.

  • Msiegnaro

    All good attributes one would have thought.