"Who else is there?"

The BBC’s Gareth Gordon has an update on, what could be described as, the pushing contest for the leadership of the UUP – pushing candidates forward that is. The report focuses on the, apparently, reluctant leader-in-waiting Reg Empey.. there is a mention of a press conference to be held next week.. but the quotes that appear – such as the one I’ve used for the title of the thread – from anonymous party sources, hint at the extent of the problem for whoever takes a bite of that “poisoned apple”.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    That leaves the Strangford MLA David McNarry who has also written to members declaring an interest. He is currently on holiday and is thought to be considering his position.

    Has he learned how to make his mind up in good time yet?

    And a new runner has emerged – the North Down MLA Alan McFarland who says he has been approached to stand and will consider his position over the next few days.

    Is McFarland the man to set the UUP on fire?

    Does anyone think that?

  • bob wilson

    Reg – yawn a man with much to be humble about.
    The pygmy politics of this man was amply demonstrated on two occasions:
    Recently he flagged up the fact that the number of unionist MPs was at an historic low – totally ignoring the importance of communicating with the other 630 souls at the HoC. Mind you maybe be just realises how unsellable Prod Unionism is at Westminster. the low number of MPs is only of importance in the context of opting out for the Con/Lab/Lib parties
    Secondly a few years ago he lead the opposition to a Trimble suggestion of a merger with Tories – basically on the old ‘ya cant trust them – they’ve let us down in the past – lets promote the Union by opting out of the parties of the Union’ nonsense.
    Not too late for a change of tune though Reg?

  • Young Fogey

    Reg Empey – the man who led two parties in their dying days. One with three Us and one with two.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    Was Empey ever UUUP leader? I hadn’t noticed this in a Google search when I wrote his Wikipedia article.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    If anyone wants to edit and enhance the Wikipedia piece it’s at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reg_Empey

  • Traditional Unionist

    he was deputy leader

  • bertie

    I think that these statements about “I have been approached” are quite David Brent-ish.

    As it happens, my bank holiday weekend was completely put to loss with people begging me to throw my hat into the ring but I am still considering my future

  • Carrington

    The person pushing McFarland’s buttons, is none other than News Letter officiando and all-round buff, Alex Kane!

  • Alex

    I actually heard murmurs of McFarland a few days after the election.

    However the general opinion there was that he was just ‘too nice’ for the job….

  • fair_deal

    Alan McFarland! LMAO! No please stop no more my sides can’t take it!

    But seriously, the North Down experience is not exportable whether in Hermon form of Mcfarland form. The UUP needs something more inpsirational that what Alan McFarland can offer or have the firmness to implement.

  • Alex Kane

    Carrington (re your 10.30am post);

    Contrary to what you say, I am not pushing Alan’s buttons. I have been approached by a number of potential candidates (or their intermediaries)and asked for my opinions.

    Best wishes,


  • Carrington


    Come on! I know fine well that you’ve been rooting for him for some time! All of those articles urging UUers to think outside the box and take a radical different choice – be honest Alex, you want the Tank Major!

  • Carrington

    I quite like Alan: not a bad spud, considering the absolute shower that is North Down Ulster Unionists. Perhaps this comes from his time at Westminster working as an assistant to real Unionists, rather than having to bite his tongue in the company of the psuedo-Alliance, New Labour Leftist MP for North Down and her dispicable NON UNIONIST emtourage.

    But a leader he is not.