Jeff Peel looses appeal – Burnside to be replaced ‘soon’

Reading in the Newsletter today (page 8) that Conservative Jeff Peel has lost his appeal against the Party decision to suspend him. He said that it would not stop him seeking office elsewhere in the party, as he was considering office in his local party next week at their AGM.

Also, according to Sir Reg Empey South Antrim Assembly member David Burnside is said to be being replaced ‘within the next few weeks’.

Sir Reg was responding to an attack from South Antrim DUP MLA Trevor Clarke who accused the UUP of ignoring their constituents needs and asked where his replacement was.

  • rj

    It’s weeks since Burnside said he was going to stand down. What is keeping Empey? Is he frightened to have to decide between Danny Kinahan and Adrian Watson? Or is there a new Tory figure waiting in the wings?

    Admittedly, Burnside has been almost as active in Stormont and the constituency since he said he was stepping down as he was before it, but this delay is doing the UUP/UCUNF no good in South Antrim. McCrea and Ford are cleaning up.

  • Jeffrey Peel made two big mistakes. One was of judgment. He made an assumption that because of difficulties in negotiations with the UUP, those difficulties were insurmountable. The other was washing “dirty linen” in public whilst being a party official. Quite obviously, it is the latter which he has been punished for.

    Jeffrey may have brought his time as a conservative official to an end permanently. I am one of those who hope that is not the case. I would certainly not vote for him if I thought he still wanted to see the Conservatives end the link with the UUP. On the other hand, if I was sure that he would never repeat his mistakes, I would want to see him back in some sort of role. He is a man with a lot of talent and potentially a lot to give the party.

    Politics, however, is very cruel. Experience suggests that my view is likely to be one of a small minority. It reminds me of the story of “Pride and Prejudice” where Mr. D’Arcy says
    “My good opinion once lost is lost forever”

  • Thanks Seymour for the (tad patronising) comments. They run counter to some you have made to me in private. But I suppose that’s the nature of politics too.

    As it happens, CCHQ has yet to inform me, specifically, as to the reasons for my suspension. I gather I broke protocols relating to the publishing of information on the Conservatives NI web site. But, to this day, I have yet to be informed as to what material was considered offensive. No request was made to me to remove material. And no protocols were broken. The local Executive never required me, as Editor, to seek approval for content. And to my knowledge no content on the site ran counter to local or national policy positions.

    From conversations I have had with senior colleagues in the Conservative Party in Britain I gather that it is without precedent for the Party to suspend a democratically elected officer without providing information as to the ‘crime’ he or she has committed. Moreover, I was summarily dismissed despite having been a loyal Party official for three years. However I was not suspended as a member of the Party – merely as an officer. But, of course, all paid-up members of the Party are entitled to hold office in the Party. It is patently ridiculous, therefore, to dismiss me as a officer and not as a member – because members are entitled to hold office.

    As to my seeking to see an end to the relationship with the UUP – this is not the case. For me the ultimate end game of the project is for the UUP to be dissolved and integrated into the Conservative Party. The UUP is not the Conservative Party – it is a sectarian, essentially single-interest, and failed, pressure group. Its fixation with “Unionism” is the key reason why I never wanted to be associated with it. Unionism is not an ideology – it is merely nationalism in other clothes.

    By definition the Conservative Party protects the union by being a Party for the entire United Kingdom. Therefore members of the UUP would be better placed – if they truly consider themselves Conservative – to join the Conservative Party.

    What I want to see, more than anything, is for Northern Ireland to move beyond the politics of nationalism – British or Irish – and participate in a real political discourse within the United Kingdom.

    The process started 20 years or so ago when the Conservative Party agreed to recognise the model Conservative Associations. But the current process will only be complete when the UUP is wound-up and replaced with a Conservative Party that appeals to all, regardless of their faith (or lack of it). Because, frankly, the UUP has just too much baggage.

    When David Cameron said he wanted to see UUP MPs in his government – that sent out all the wrong messages. What I’d have preferred to hear was that he wanted to see Conservatives from Northern Ireland in his government.

    A repainting of the UUP is not the end-game Seymour. The end-game is the replacement of the politics of the tribe with the politics of the United Kingdom.

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    Great patience is required in this link up and megaphone diplomacy, a la Paisley, is not the way. The vast majority of the Unionist Party are not fervent “Stand Alone Ulster Nationalists” they are all in the UDUP. Also what really irritates me about Geoff is his proclaiming his atheism from the roof tops. Religion is a private matter and politicians should lead people into change,not abuse them for their religious beliefs The Conservative is a multi racial party with people holding many beliefs and I stress that these are beliefs. None of us knows the true answer- Nobody

  • New Blue

    Although I have never met Mr. Peel, his amazing one man ‘how many toys can I throw out of the pram’competition showed just how little someone who lives in Northern Ireland can understand Northern Ireland politics and people.

    Thankfully, his personal campaign to derail the best opportunity that we have ever had to mainstream UK politics in Northern Ireland failed and those in CCHQ saw immediately what he was up to and sorted it there and then.

    If that doesn’t show how seriously the Conservatives take this partnership then I don’t know what will.

  • ??

    Thankfully, his personal campaign to derail the best opportunity that we have ever had to mainstream UK politics in Northern Ireland failed………….

    er the tories have been here for 20 years and have done remarkably poorly.

  • slug

    Jeff Peel seems a bit of a drama queen to me, always shouting from the rooftops. His views are his views he is entitled to them, but he didn’t seem like a team player willing to make compromises.

  • New Blue

    Tell me when in the last 20 years the Conservative party had the profile that the partnership has this time round?

    Tell me when in the last 20 years that the moderate voters were not isolated between 2 very extreme factions?

    As much as you and your dinosaur of a party wish to believe it isn’t so, the political horizon is changing in Northern Ireland, extremist, bigoted small minded ‘six county’ unionists hold no interest to those who want to put the past behind them.

    I am looking forward to the Wesminster elections next year, a chance for those interested in real politics and real issues to finally have a say that actually matters.

  • tresc2003

    And yet the Peel saga goes on, Jeffrey Peel is becoming very irritating, I really did not think that one man could be so singleminded in his quest for media coverage. I have heard the phrase media junkie and whore used.
    I hope you enjoyed reading the emails that myself along with a few of my fellow youth members of the conservative party sent you in response to the email you sent out. Good ridance to you sir, it seems that you cannot see the great potential of the new force that DC has formed with Sir Reg and the UUP.
    Many of the young Conservatives have now joined the Young Unionists and now all of us young tories can play an active role for the first time with a view to getting one of our candidates elected for the first time in living memory in N.I. Thanks for nothing mr Peel.

  • slug

    Mr Peel is not worthy of so much discussion. Lets not mention him any more.

  • elvis parker

    ‘When David Cameron said he wanted to see UUP MPs in his government’

    David Cameron never said that he wants NI ‘Conservative and Unionist’ MPs in his govt.

    Just because NI journalists are lazy ar**s does excuse you using their incorrect terminology