Tory UUP link passes…

No details as yet, other than it went through with no votes against… More detail later this evening…

Update: The decision is made, and as party member John Lund notes below the fold, the new entity (they’ve still to settle the issue of the name) they have agreed to fight the next two big elections under a single banner..

Update to the Update Statements from David Cameron and Owen Paterson below the fold:

Conservative leader, David Cameron said:

“I am delighted by this agreement between the Conservatives and the Ulster Unionists. It will give all the people of Northern Ireland, for the first time in decades, a new choice in politics. For too long Northern Ireland has been outside of the mainstream of politics in the United Kingdom. This new political force will help change that, and allow everyone in Northern Ireland to participate fully in political life both in Northern Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom.”

Speaking after a unanimous decision by Northern Ireland Conservative Party members, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson said:

“I am very pleased that a new political force will be created. This will give real influence to all Northern Ireland voters on the crucial day to day issues such as taxation, pensions and the economy.”

Unofficial response from John Lund:

Tonight The Ulster Unionist Party under Reg Empey and David Campbell’s leadership entered a new political sphere. They joined David Cameron’s Conservative and Unionists in a New Political Force committed to fighting both the European and next General Elections. Sir Reg has lead his party executive to a unanimous decision with 90 voting for the arrangement with only two abstentions. I would personally like to congratulate both these two gentlemen and particularly Owen Paterson MP the Shadow Secretary of State and Neil Johnston the NI Conservative and Unionist Party.

All four have succeeded in achieving this historic event, Reg particularly has succeeded in leading his party to possibly the most successful and unanimous conclusion in since the early days of The Ulster Unionist Council.

This combination will gain from the eleven years of Tory reinvention finally successfully achieved by David Cameron and his ultra professional team. The new force now have possibly the most professional political campaigning team in Europe. This will thus leapfrog the new force from the doldrums of the last election into being on the Government Benches after the next election with Jim Nicholson MEP reinforcing his position as one of the senior members of the Conservative Group in the European Parliament.

The previous voting and the large non-voting electorate of this province are now being given the chance to vote for a completely national UK wide combination similar to Winston Churchill’s post war election victory over Clement Attlee which lead to 14 years of Tory rule . The timing is very opportune to the mutual Social Justice policies which will see Ian Duncan Smith arriving in Belfast as early as the 3rd of December which will be a busy week as David Cameron will address the UUP conference on the 6th of December where One Nation Toryism will come to Northern Ireland. Adventurous joint manifesto policies will start to be rolled out with phenomenal economic benefits for all Ulstermen.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Posh boy David Cameron’s (PBDC) naivety in relation to the sectarianism of the Ulster Unionists and the latters strong relationship with the deeply sectatian OO will undoubtedly cause his party, which is trying desperately to a present a new tolerant and modern image, serious embarassment.

    It is excellent news for Nationalism – given the vote splitting possiblities, and probably good news for the Labour Party as they will benefit from the Irish in Britain not appreciating Tory politicing in Norn Iron.

    Bring it on.

  • Ann

    I think it will improve the fortunes of the UUP.

  • truth and justice

    And now the resignations begin!

  • PeaceandJustice

    It’s a start. But in time, only a full merger is the answer.

  • ??

    hope reg can explain the cuts in services Davey boy is planning… any word from sylivia?

  • Is that an official press release Mick? I presume not. Regardless, its breathless tone and absurdly inflated claims did give me a good laugh.

  • Ann

    Is this merger down to Iris’ behaviour over gays. Does anyone think the Conservatives would have prefered a deal with the dupers as they were a much bigger party, but due to Iris’ gay comments they may have changed their minds?

  • I assume the blockquote is from the press release. It is the most inflated prose I’ve seen in a long while.

    Now, can anyone explain why the 14 wasted years of 1951-64 are so celebrated here? Did incapacitated Churchill, Eden, Macmillan and Home preside over such an epic period? Is it merely harking back to the last hooray of Big House Unionism in NI? Can it be that the more recent Thatcher/Major period would not sell as well?

    … parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

  • Lawdy, luvaduck, Garibaldy @ 11:43 PM, we can’t go on meeting like this. Or else we’ll be accused of sockpuppetry.

  • In Malcolm. Great minds and all that. Fantastic quote by the way.

  • That should have said indeed Malcolm.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s a response from an individual member, not a press release… Ball guys… remember?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    Apart from the AntiGay stuff there is Creationism, Anti-Environmentalism, Fundamantalism and rampant Sectarinaism for the Tories to have to accomodate.

    Even the naieve Posh Boy couldn’t miss all that.

  • William

    It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it – Please explain what you mean by this crap that you used in reply to Ann….obviously you aren’t old enough to remember that the Ulster Unionist Party were linked to the Conservative Party until 1973 when the UU withdrew due to the actions of ‘Grocer Heath’. You obviously are a bit of a hatemonger, coming out with this garbage.

    Apart from the AntiGay stuff there is Creationism, Anti-Environmentalism, Fundamantalism and rampant Sectarinaism for the Tories to have to accomodate.

    Even the naieve Posh Boy couldn’t miss all that.

    Posted by It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it on Nov 21, 2008 @ 12:04 AM

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    I was replying to Ann’s speculations as to why the DUP were an unsuitable partner for the Tories.

    The DUP have clearly identified themselves with those “isms” I have mentioned.

    You are surely not suggesting otherwise?

  • Mick,

    Breathless tone and absurdly inflated claims. I think that is aiming at the ball Mick. It is arguing that the suggestions that this deal/merger/arrangement whatever it might be represents a major change in NI politics do not reflect the reality of what is going on. When the Unionist Party was allied to the Tories in Westminster before the Troubles it never made much difference, and there is no reason to think this will now either.

  • John K Lund

    The Dup are of no relevance to anyone in the Conservative and Unionist Fold. They were never even considered for this project. They are not a modern secular UK wide party; and if they even put up any cadidates in GB they would lose their deposits. They only knew about this proposed deal in the week before it was announced. They missed the bus entirely; in that the overtures and discussions had started on the 15th of October 2007 whilst they had been so busy being totally negative and homophobic; that when they found out they poured out a super tankers complete cargo of bile all around themselves with a result that the Little Defector has now no doubt lost his few former Tory pals with whom he took refreshments. This was also partly due to his desertion of his own electorate and joining a group of exclusive brethren who want to force their staight jacketed vision of Ulster Nationalism down the throats of all and sundry; the vast majority of whom dont support or vote for them.
    Furthermore they appear to be split down the middle by the TUV, whose recent appearance is really hurting them. However that end of fundamental ultra” protestantism ” will no doubt keep splitting as they will never become an all encompassing socio economic political entity. They have given their flash in the pan supporters, at the last two elections, vaccuous promises that they will never be able to deliver and thus their transitory loyalist support will fade away or switch to the TUV. Oh what a curious web we weave when we set out to deceive.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    I suspect that the vast majority of Unionists would support the Tories/UU tomorrow if they offered them direct rule with no Dublin involvment as there would be no Stormo but also no SF.

    Of course the Tories know that such an offer would destabilse Norn Iron and no such offer will materialise even though it would guarntee them about 7 seats.

  • Questions

    David Cameron has signalled his support for abortion on demand in the early stages of pregnancy.

    The Conservative Party leader said it would “practical and sensible” to abolish the requirement of the consent of two doctors before an abortion can go ahead.

    He also indicated that he was in favour of easing the restrictions of the 1967 Abortion Act to allow nurses as well as doctors to provide terminations.

    The Ulster Unionist pro-abortion party??

    On a completely different matter i see that the sdlp’s Niall Kelly’s blog is not accessible. Has Alban and the Stalinist wing of the party come down hard after the junior councillor’s recent outburst?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    I think the UU will sidestep that by saying that any legislative change will not be relevant to Norn Iron.

  • And the name?
    The NI Conservative and Unionist Alliance.
    I don’t think that will do it somehow.
    The NI Conservative and Unionist Coalition.
    That sounds a bit clumsy.
    The NI Unionist and Conservative Alignment.
    A bit out of line.
    The Conservative and Unionist Party.
    Back to the future!
    The New Ulster Unionist Con.
    Too truthful!

  • ??

    Peter Bowles left the UUP because of their links with the UVF, now that the Tories are part of that link will he stay with them, and anyone any idea about sylvia?

  • Disinterested observer

    I think it is sad that there will never again be any Ulster Unionist MPs or MEPs but think that the creation of this new Conservative and Unionist movement is a very positive development.

  • Rory

    This is the most exciting news since the announcement of the latest furniture sale at World of Leather. Even at 7am today crowds were to be seen dancing in the streets outside London tube stations, gleefully waving copies of the Daily Telegraph and estatically chanting, “We’re saved. We’re saved!”

    I am sure that the good folk of Northern Ireland are completely underwhelmed.

  • pith

    Nobody told me about the furniture sale at World of Leather.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]And the name?
    The NI Conservative and Unionist Alliance.
    I don’t think that will do it somehow.
    The NI Conservative and Unionist Coalition.
    That sounds a bit clumsy.
    The NI Unionist and Conservative Alignment.
    A bit out of line.
    The Conservative and Unionist Party.
    Back to the future!
    The New Ulster Unionist Con.
    Too truthful! “[/i]

    It’ll be interesting to see if the word Ulster is incorporated, for the Conservatives have a habit of removing any sense of Ulster identity when they’re in power. They’re just as bad as any Irish Nationalist or Republican, eroding the Ulster identity for an Irish one.

  • pith

    Ulster’s my homeland,

    What do you do for company in that field of yours? Or is it just you and your little rock.

    However, like you I am not convinced that David Cameron cares enough about the Ulster Scots language.

  • Jeremy Fisher

    One inaccuracy in the BBC news story
    “The Conservative Party has just one councillor in Northern Ireland, however, Down District Council’s Peter Bowles is yet to stand for election under the Tory banner.” – 2007 Assembly election – Peter Bowles (Conservative) 391 (0.8%)

  • ??

    provience wide, the tories had 3500 votes in 2007, less than a quota. Guess the beggars in the UUP cant be choosers

  • JD

    “And now the resignations begin!”

    Will there be an UUP councillors or even an MLA that might now avail of Labour membership?

    Although Labour only allows individual membership – this is a big difference from the old days when the Labour Party rejected the NI Labour Party’s application to merge join the British Labour Party

  • Rory

    That’s a good point you made about Ulster identity and incorporating the name ‘Ulster’ into the title, UMH. In fact everybody should be aware of the importance of pushing the use of ‘Ulster’ forward on every occasion.

    Have you ever considered incorporating it into your own name?

  • frustrated democrat

    I must admit I take great pleasure in seeing the DUP supporters, socialists and others decrying this advance. The more they do the happier everyone else is – we all know if it was in their interests they would be supporting it whole heartedly.

    I now hope in the next year or two I can change to another ‘name’ as real democracy starts to take place in NI.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Its a good start. Now will come the test as the new group begins to organise to try to take a seat or two. Nice article Mick and quite right that serious effort and money will be needed to give it a solid go. I doubt Col Tim will be interested. If he wanted in he could have got a safe English seat no need to risk all in an NI marginal. Although a high profile celebrity candidate would certainly put a new dynamic into it all. It will be interesting.

  • Granni Trixie

    I cannot understand
    (a) what is in it for the Conservatives?
    (b) what’s in it for the present UUP?
    I mean, the Tories are out of sinc with NI values and have not done well electorally in the past infact this move is likely to deflect marginal voters to say Alliance.
    On the other hand I can see that the past UUP leader (Trimble) might be promoting such a move, given that he wants a position with Conservatives should they win the next election.

    But let’s have a wager – that Lady H. and others will not wear it?

  • observer

    But let’s have a wager – that Lady H. and others will not wear it?
    Posted by Granni Trixie on Nov 25, 2008 @ 06:59 PM

    Rumour has it some in North Down are already looking for a replacement