“The leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party is disappointed..”

The BBC has the official party reaction to UUP MP Sylvia Hermon’s comments yesterday [Full UUP statement here]

In a statement, Sir Reg criticised the timing of her comments. “The leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party is disappointed that Lady Hermon, in the middle of an election campaign, has chosen to give a series of interviews in which she has challenged party policy and the collective decisions taken by her colleagues,” he said. “Her own position is not an issue in the present campaign. “She was assured last year that she would not be required to take the Conservative Party whip in the lifetime of the present parliament.

And from Jeffrey Peel, the former vice-chair of the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland

“She made clear on many occasions that one of her concerns was that the Ulster Unionist Party is dominated by a group of increasingly elderly men,” he said. “She’s the Ulster Unionists’ only MP and a woman, yet she wasn’t involved in the process (of the renaming) at all so she was completely sidelined. “From a people management point of view, the Ulster Unionist Party messed up big time.”

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  • Expenses111

    Reg Empey’s time as leader is up. This is just another demonstration of how much his leadership is a farce. Does anyone in his party think he is doing a good job? What happens if Sylvia goes Independant and Reg has no MP’s after the next election. The alliance with the Tory’s is over as the promise of someone in the Cabinet Government would be up in smoke. Time to put this ailing leader out of his misery.

  • dewi

    Why didn’t he throw her out of the party this morning…I can’t see any upside for the UUP in maintaining this relationship.

  • Sylvia boo hoo…..

    Why didn’t he throw her out of the party this morning…

    And have her throw a bigger tantrum?

  • dewi

    Surely a clean break better than months / years of whining…and a chance to do some prep in North Down…

  • SM

    Reg needs to be decisive and boot her out and move on.

  • Expenses111

    At the last election Sylvia got 16000 while the DUP got 11000. You would expect next year that if Sylvia was independant she wouldnt go through. IF she stood against a UUP/Tory then the DUP would top the vote

  • AJJM

    The UUP leadership doesn’t appear to be strong enough. If they can’t control their own party, how would they intend to hold power?

  • Reg Empey’s time as leader is up. This is just another demonstration of how much his leadership is a farce.

    Which might be what this whole thing is about. Think about it. Europe is a disaster. UCUNF is a disaster. Reg gets the boot. Sylvia is the one senior UUP figure who called time on the fiasco before disaster. She looks good. Does Sylvia go for the leadership? Does another North Down MLA with whom she is closely allied?

    (Reg needs to expel her; but by expelling her, the UUP has no Westminster seats to bring to the UCUNF tea party. Glad that’s not my dilemma.”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The short-term intesrest in this story is to what extent Sylvia has damaged the UU/Tory/NF/Crypto confederation of right wingers and bigots.

    If they do badly in the Euros, which they always were going to do, then Sylv will be excellently placed to take the rap – rather than Wee Reggie – who signed up to the the silly crypto alliance in the first place.

    You can hear Wee Reggie now ” our strategy blah-blah, best candidate blah-blah, long term objective blah-blah undermined by the disgracefull behaviour etc.”

    Under 100,000 and falling.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I agree, I’m quoting the 100,000 because based on the posting on here by their suuporters that would be a minimum for them to claim any sort of significant progress.

  • Peter, would it not be gracious to link Sylvia’s press release? It would give the piranha’s a little more variety in the their diet 🙂

  • “The leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party is disappointed..”

    Typo? Should that not be ‘disappointing’?

  • Jimmy Sands

    If Empty refuses to accept the unanimous democratic decision of his parliamentary party then he should be expelled.

  • SM

    “unanimous democratic decision of his parliamentary party”
    Posted by Jimmy Sands on May 15, 2009 @ 02:07 PM

    Hahaha! There is a bit of spin for you 🙂

    So you think that 1 MP who disagrees with the rest of her party (as expressed in the votes they had) should be allowed to dictate party direction?

    PS: How can 1 person make a “democratic decision” unless they have multiple personalities 😉

  • Querulous

    Given that Nicholson polled 17% last time, Reg and his pet UCUNF project will need at least 18-20% to justify the huge upheaval they’ve put the party though…

    UCUNF have turned their back on lots of UUP voters and members from non-Tory backgrounds who had been in the party for decades, all to just bow the knee to the mostly English upper middle-class Tories….

    We’ll see how the electorate responds. My guess is that if the UCUNF Tories get under 20% Reg will be out on his ear, the Tory thing will be dead, and Sylvia Hermon will be elected leader by the grassroots.

    The UUP grassroots never got to have their say on the Tory pact but they’ll certainly be able to have their say on who’s the next leader.

    Then, perhaps, the UUP will have a future – Sylvia would be ideal for facing down the surge in support for Alliance, and she’s a heavyweight no-nonsense leader who knows how to deal with SF, the DUP and the Government.

    Let’s wait and see. It’s 20% or die for Reg on June 4th.

  • elvis parker

    Querulous ‘bow the knee to the mostly English upper middle-class Tories’
    Your pig ignorant DUP insularity shines through.
    Why do you rabbit on about the Conservatives if you have no fear of the project.
    The truth is that the DUP is riddled with anti English sentiment. The fact that you call yourselves Unionists is laughable