Purvis new PUP leader

The PUP have selected, Dawn Purvis, Chair of that party and currently an independent member of the Policing Board, to replace David Ervine as their new leader – as well as replacing him in his assembly seat.. whether she will have any more influence than Mr Ervine on the UVF’s long-delayed decision to disarm remains to be seen.. Adds Dawn Purvis is “deeply honoured”..

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  • loftholdingswood

    It is a good appointment in my opinion. She seems to be level headed and speaks fluently and with passion. Not sure how far the PUP can get but….good luck to her.

  • moyle rover

    with regards to UVF disarmament, why ask Purvis? Go to the head of special Branch and ask him if he will allow them to disarm.

  • Nationalist

    So the new leader of the PUP/UVF is also a member of the policing board – could this be called a new formal arrangement in their collusion?

  • graduate

    good luck to her. Northern Ireland politics finallly has a woman leader of a political party 20something years after Maggie showed everyone else how it should be done. When are the rest going to catch up to the notion of women as political animals?
    Don’t know how much difference it’ll make to the bigger picture though, she’s not as charismatic as David was and who knows if they’ll disarm

  • Pete Baker


    She’s been a member of the Policing Board and Chair of the PUP for some time.. courtesy of Peter Hain..


    How do you see the PUP’s future in relation to whatever candidates/group the UPRG endorses – given the political capital and imprimatur of governments?

  • Nationalist


    The point is that she is now the leader of the PUP/UVF politicos and with todays report from the ombudsmans detailing the informal arrangements with RUC Special Branchs collusion are both sides simply making their collusion a new transparent formal arrangement?

  • Pete Baker

    The arrangements between the PUP and the UVF have never been a secret.

    And that didn’t stop Peter Hain granting Dawn Purvis a place on the Policing Board.

  • Animus

    Congratulations. I can’t think of a better person for the job really. While no one is going to take Ervine’s place, she may be able to make a fresh start with the party. Good luck to her.

  • Michael Shilliday


    Any Councillor who does not get one of the Council seats on a DPP is free to apply for one of the independant seats. I don’t think it has ever been done in this order but DUP Cllr’s Marsden and Spratt were ind members who were subsequently elected, in Marsden’s case not even to the same council.

    I should imagine that the same principle applies to the PB. Just because you are an MLA or lead a Party does not remove your entitlement to appointment to the PB as an ind.

  • andyk

    Michael Shilliday is probably right, being an MLA would not prevent you from being appointed as an independent member….but I actually think this is completely irrelevant as the assembly is not sitting….ALL of the current members of the policing board are actually classed as independent….and ALL were appointed by the Secretary of State.

    Back on topic, I think it is a really positive move for the PUP, there are lots of people (clear from the response to Ervine’s death) that liked what they heard, but couldn’t make the jump and vote for him due to his baggage – no matter how far he came on his personal journey. Dawn Purvis has no such baggage, it will be interesting to see how she does. But I wish her well. It is also good to see a female at the head of a political party again!

  • anthony

    This is an interesting development for the PUP, not only have they appointed Dawn Purvis as leader and it seems MLA, but have chosen to appoint an East Belfast GP as Belfast City Councillor. This is not what people expect from the Progressive Unionist Party. A very positive move and it seems a new face for ‘Loyalism’.

    I always feel positive when we get new politicians no matter where they come from, I always hope that we will get something different – 99% of the time I am sadly disappointed, but I am hopeful this time again 🙂

  • Pete Baker


    It’s not her role in the PUP that calls into question her appointment by Peter Hain to the Policing Board.

    As I’ve already pointed out in the post and the comments, it’s the PUP’s links with the UVF.

    But then the UUP would already be aware of that..

  • david

    Pete Baker

    It seems to me that PUP links with the UVF are completely misunderstood and overestimated. Even the IMC have recognised that their links are not as they first believed and nothing like that of Sinn Fein and the IRA. With completely separate entities and leaderships with no overlap. The PUP can at best present the UVF with sensible alternatives and analysis. Given David Ervine’s unpopularity amoung rank and file UVF men (who nearly to man vote DUP!) due to his criticism of them/advice to them/general liberal views.

    Ironically it is my belief that contrary to general public opinion on the PUP/UVF it is the likes of David Ervine and now Dawn Purvis that most want the UVF to move on/go away……..But Pete just saying it wont make it happen, actually discussing it and providing the options and sensible arguments is the only way, no matter how unpleasant that idea/job may be – someone has to do it. I hope Dawn Purvis carriers on Ervin’s job in this sense – although it cost him votes – we as a country are in a better place because someone was doing it.

  • darth rumsfeld

    hopefully not in history or politics. There was a women leader of a political party in Northern Ireland at the same time as Thatcher.
    Anne Dickson was the leader of the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland after the death of Brian Faulkner in 1977ish until about 1980. Though a small moderate Unionist party, it was bigger than the PUP will ever be.

  • Michael Shilliday


    Are you suggesting that Dawn Purvis is or has been a member of the UVF? That would be a very serious allegation.

    Are you suggesting that she acts on behalf of and/or passes sensitive information to the UVF she receives from the PB? That would also be a very serious allegation what would, I think, break the Official Secrets Act.

    If you are suggesting either of these things I suggest you immediately report Mrs Purvis to the Police. If not, I don’t see how you have any point at all.

  • DK

    I was a member of the PUP after the Loyalist ceasefires and worked with both David and Dawn. David had a UVF past which he did not hide. He used his links to sell the peace process to the UVF. No easy task. Many times I witnessed him slandering “the neanderthals” in relation to UVF, UDA or any other “loyalist” paramilitaries who appeared incapable of understanding the realities of today and the need to basically be progressive.

    Dawn has no UVF connections. She was in the PUP to better the life of the working class and help reconstruct their communities. She would want a complete end to all paramilitary organisations, today if not sooner.

    Unfortunately she will have less influence than David had. However, I believe David has done the ground work and the process is underway to an inevitable end.

    My hope is that Dawn can gather voters that would have been reluctant to support David given his past. In the end Dawn will have to end any relationship with the UVF. They know what they need to do and should get on with it.

  • graduate

    true not politics or history. Mind you, havinf looked up Anne Dickson I have to admit you’re getting pretty pedantic and a tad esoteric! Hope it’s not an omen for Ms Purvis- the ignominy of leading a doomed party but feel it will be. she ain’t half as good as irvine was.And although I didn’t agree with some of his utterances he was pretty straight for a politician and definitely a character- dawn just doesn’t have the same charisma

  • gareth mccord

    one question for the blind and deaf
    simple because bunter graham controls her FACT!!