EXCLUSIVE: UUP’s disgruntled persuaded to stay on at the last minute…

It looks like the Tory leader may have arrived just in time to settle a few jumpy nerves within the Ulster Unionist camp. Slugger understands that right up until last week party officials were busy trying to keep three of their MLAs from jumping ship. George Savage, Ken Robinson and Robert Coulter were all thought to have made serious threats to resign the party whip; but were talked out of it at the very last minute. Some of the group were seen talking intensely over a coffee with a number of disaffected members within the Democratic Unionists; though again it is not thought that plans for a new independent group of Unionist MLAs had got beyond the ‘talking about’ stage.

Finding a common enough grievance may have been half the problem, since there seems to have been no single reason for the dissent, other than frustration with the party’s lack of forward momentum under Reg Empey’s leadership.

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  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    Maybe you should ask the source, who seems to have been free and easy on outting the UUP plotters, the names of the DUP members they were plotting with?

    Perhaps the abscence of those names indicates an agenda on behalf of your leakee?

    If Slugger is going to be used to pitch unsupported claims into the public domain with what is obviously an intention for MSM pick up, it might be best not to let the agenda setter completely distract from another, probably more interesting, part of the story – members of the DUP are in talks with members of the UUP about jumping ship.

  • Mick Fealty

    I have more than one source on this Mark… But that would be a nice scoop… I don’t have a definitive list of those names yet; but I am always open to new leads…

  • Nomad

    Agreed- definately two very interesting stories to be had here! Nice job.

  • Claudius Pulcher

    The source for this is the son of one of those mentioned – a Walter Mitty if ever there was one…

  • slug

    The three mentioned would hardly be on David Cameron’s A list…no loss there.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Well, I’ve just had it confirmed to my satisfaction that this is utter nonsense.

  • Mark McGregor

    Michael,

    I’ll go with a reworking of an old one:

    ‘Never accept it as true until the UUP (party hack) has denied it’

  • Turgon

    Whilst I cannot really speak with any specific authority, I am sure that if any unionists MLAs or any other unionists were interested in jumping ship, a home could be found for them.

  • pith

    I’m inclined to agree with Mark
    McGregor. “EXCLUSIVE” doesn’t really fit here. Will it be “WORLD EXCLUSIVE” next? Or will it be “….Slugger O’Toole can reveal today”?

    Turgon, Are you admitting that TUV will take any Unionist whether or not they are opposed to the Agreement(s)?

  • elvis parker

    So let me get this right these MLAs – 2 of whom are known for their intense dislike of the DUP were talking not about defecting to the DUP but to the dissidents within the DUP? Seems extremely unlikely scenario to be honest.
    Now that the UUP Executive has voted virtually unanimously for a deal and the packed conference gave a rapturous ovation to Cameron any defections now will be on the fast track to oblivion. A two day wonder in the press and a future of being shunned by their former colleagues in their constituency and the Assembly.
    The public wont even notice

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    some of the group were seen talking intensely over a coffee with a number of disaffected members within the Democratic Unionists

    lol. What kind of paranoid little soul thought this was important? Going by this example then mefinks Mervyn Storey is in talks to jump to the Shinners, I saw him talking to one them today. :~0

    FYU exclusive!

    Now what can I get? A massive payment for my full no-holes-barred minute by minute version of events? My own double page spread in tomorrows Newsletter?

    Seriously though, Devenport talked about this a couple weeks ago, the DUP Assembly group didn’t even back it up. Now if some DUP hack up at Stormont thinks Unionist MLAs chattin with a few of the backbench Duppers in the Members coffee
    room is significant then they need to get out more.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Who, who and who?

  • frustrated democrat

    They have something in common their age, their average is over 70 years.

  • William

    As one who is in the Unionist party, it is more like that the DUPes were talking to the three Unionist MLAs about deflecting, rather than the other way….

    Neither of the 3 gentlemen mentioned by Mick is likely to wish to become a DUPe, knowing them as I do….

    Someone flying kites again….perhaps the son of one of ‘them’ who is a ‘Walter Mitty’, could be identified and then we might see how far-fetched this story is.

  • Emmanuel Goldstein

    FYU-

    How did Alex Redpath do in the election for Equality Chairman in the Students’ Union?

  • slug

    North Antrim does need a new Conservative/UUP figure; any talent out there with connections to North Antim please apply.

  • pith

    Savage, Coulter, Robinson. It reminds me of Williams, Owen and Jenkin (and Rodgers). Or maybe it doesn’t.

    Are they revoluntionary unionists?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    This alliance undoubtedly has theoretical benefits but a fair analysis must conclude that there is at least a serious possibility it will be bad for both parties and good for Nationalsim.

    There must be some dissent from the more Orange elements of the UU who will now be expected to tone down some the the very rhetoric they have being employed to keep the DUP at bay and get elected.

  • irishnothappy

    to be honest would they really be missed if they went to the DUP?

    Just more to be added to the rest of the worthless assembly fodder of the DUP !

  • Bigger Picture

    “Whilst I cannot really speak with any specific authority, I am sure that if any unionists MLAs or any other unionists were interested in jumping ship, a home could be found for them.”

    Yes Turgon but they do want a career that wil go past the next election as well.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Yes Turgon but they do want a career that wil go past the next election as well

    and thats obviously why they are thinking of leaving the funny alliance – the Conservative and Unionist National Team (C**T).