Campaign gossip…

I BET a few heads turned today when Old Bailey bomber Gerry Kelly and hunger striker Raymond McCartney turned up at the Policing the Future conference. However, the atmosphere was probably calmer at the Waterfront Hall than in Lisburn, where UKUP leader Bob ‘Multi-seat’ McCartney confronted DUP leader Ian Paisley in the ‘city’ square. Mark Devenport blogs: “Denied a head to head debate the UK Unionist leader pursued the DUP leader with cries of “where’s the never, never, never” and “never, never, never, yes, yes ,yes”. Like a liner which cannot alter its course, the Doc kept moving, refusing to take Mr McCartney under his notice. However his colleagues, who included Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson, variously taunted the UK Unionist as “a motormouth”, “a maverick” and “a vote splitter”.” Meanwhile, a Sinn Fein source thinks Mitchel McLaughlin might take a South Antrim seat from the SDLP rather than Alliance’s David Ford – but if the DUP really are advising its voters to transfer to Ford ahead of the UUP to keep Mitch out, it will be an interesting battle towards the end of the count!