Slugger hears there was a bit of a barney at the UUP Officers meeting last week, when Lord Kilclooney (aka John D Taylor) allegedly told Reg to wake up and smell the flowers [make it a strong black coffee – ed] after James Leslie walked to the Conservatives. Today they have another less high profile desertion to teh Tory ranks.Bob Little was a member of the UUC Executive Committee until 2005. He cited the need to change the nature of politics in Northern Ireland as well as his admiration for David Cameron as his reasons:
“Change is in the air and a resurgent Conservative Party is good for the United Kingdom. I am impressed with David Cameron’s efforts to rebuild the Conservative Party and his wish to ensure it is a party of the entire United Kingdom. I think we in Northern Ireland can benefit from that and I wish to help in any way I can.”
Hmmm. Not exactly a deadly coup. But the UUP, so long fighting a readguard from the anti Agreement DUP, now face an action from an essentially pro-Agreement Conservative Party.
We are a long way from the 1860/70s when the Tories last had significant political representation in Ulster. But the party would be well advised to take some time out to work out just where it stands and what kind of future it can offer its more able supporters.