Parsley to leave Alliance at 3pm this afternoon…

After meeting with his old party leader this morning it looks like Mr Parsley may on his way back to the Conservatives. Both Ian and the Alliance Party will issue statements at three o’clock. It’s a bit of a coup for the New Tories to peel off the Alliance party’s rising star from the European elections but it remains to be seen just what that adds up to in next year’s election steeplechase stakes. It may steel the hand of those inside UCU-NF wanting to have a pop at their own sitting MP, Sylvia Hermon. Ian’s bright, young and very well suited to the North Down constituency.

Adds from the BBC:

Alliance Party leader David Ford said he was “very disappointed” at the news. He said he felt Mr Parsley had “left a promising political career to stumble down a blind alley”. Until Friday, Mr Parsley worked as an official with Alliance, but is set to begin a new post with the Centre for Social Justice, a think-tank set up by former Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith.

He has also done his far share of knocking of doors. But unseating what would be by then an independent Lady Hermon (who already pulls in quite a swathe of the Alliance vote in every Westminster election) is a task of quite another order. It remains to be seen what effect the nature of his going has on his former party colleagues. Not to mention the effect on voters of ousting Syliva. That’s as risky a move now as ever it was. But the party may be keen to do something with the bright young turk from Groomsport.

That’s of course if the Tories can pick through the current deadlock with the UUP on the choice of candidates… Not everyone at Cunningham House erm, Albertbridge Road, is keen for her go; before next May at least…

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  • Mark McGreg

    Mick,

    Ballsing up a defection and turning it into a complete damp squb and farce doesn’t really boost his standing in the up-and-coming stakes.

    He comes out of it all looking dishonest, niave and more than a little stupid.

    Hardly the best of starts to his new career.

  • DC

    Mark, why? It certainly hasn’t hindered other politicians in the past, John Redwood springs to mind and he’s in Cameron’s team, is he not?

    Besides, what’s done is done and ability should shine through in the end.

  • jone

    What an amateur – emailing an denial to a hack with attached documents showing his denial to be a load of balls.

    Then being bounced into a presser on a Friday afternoon – which as any PR will tell you is the part of the week which will give you least impact.

    Take a bow!

  • well i hope Ian still comes to the annual North Down Alliance BBQ held each year in my garden. Maybe i shud have suspected something was up as this year he neither helped with the drinks nor the cooking and in fact even left before the raffle was drawn.

  • YelloSmurf

    I’ll be sorry to see him go. I have to wonder why he’s joining UCUNF from Alliance. Alliance, in my (totaly biased) opinion are on the way up (if slowly) whereas UCUNF have failed to turn themselves around.

  • Driftwood

    Has he joined the CU’s or, like my local councillor on Down Council, Peter Bowles, just designated himself Conservative?

  • YelloSmurf

    David Ford comments,

    He has left a promising political career to stumble down a blind alley. It is sad to see an up and coming politician move to a marginal party with minimal prospects

  • Driftwood

    Yellosmurf, I think David Ford is ranting a bit.
    Parsley is joining the party that will form the next UK government. reporting to David Cameron (PM) has slightly more kudos than David Ford.

  • Thirty pieces of silver?

  • Disinterested observer

    Mick: ‘That’s of course if the Tories can pick through the current deadlock with the UUP on the choice of candidates… Not everyone at Cunningham House is keen for her go; before next May at least… ”
    No sign of deadlock here Mick looks like its Parsley for North Down. Also UUP moved out of Cunningham House ages ago

  • elvis parker

    Driftwood – Bowles is an active member of the Conservatives as far as I’m aware

    Smart move by Parsley we need politics to change and the Conservatives and Unionists are the best vehicle for that change

  • Driftwood

    elvis
    I agree, but Bowles never uses the Unionist adjunct on council business. must ask him.

  • Bob Wilson

    On reflection David Ford will probably regret these rants. He would be better to turn the phone of and go home early.

  • fair_deal

    “There is also speculation that the Ulster Unionists and Conservatives want Mr Parsley to stand against current North Down MP Sylvia Hermon in the upcoming Westminster election.”

    Being caught arranging a challenger/replacement are hardly going to help Sir Reg’s attempts to persuade Lady Hermon.

  • YelloSmurf

    Driftwood, Cameron may be next PM, but I seriously doubt that the North Down candidate will figure in his thinking if Parsley fails to get in (which is very possible, Sylvia has a fantastic personal vote). The Tory link up has failed to turn things around for the UUs, thier performance in Europe came about as a result of the fact that TUV voters hate the DUP. At the end of the day it’s Parsley’s choice, but it doesn’t look good from where I’m standing.

    One has got to wonder how long Parsley was planning this. If, as seems very plausible, he was planning this as far back as the Euros, David Ford has every right to be annoyed. It looks poor to resign as soon as he can get a job that deosn’t involve working for Alliance.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Bawb – ya want me to quote some of your choice quotes about Parsley back at you? Specify the year, mind, as your slabber about him has been something else altogether.

  • bob wilson

    LTU – lie down in a darkened room with a wet flannel

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I need to after re-reading some of your choice slabber about the bould Parsley. So once more: which of your florrid gems do you want to be reminded of first? Can’t say fairer than that! (Oh, and as always, welcome home, Bawb).

  • iluvni

    Is Parsley still a supporter of the Lisbon Treaty? I think we should be told.

  • Comrade Stalin

    YelloSmurf:

    At the end of the day it’s Parsley’s choice, but it doesn’t look good from where I’m standing.

    It all hinges on what Sylvia’s plans are for North Down, and what Ian is prepared to do in that event to become an MP.

    elvis:

    Smart move by Parsley we need politics to change and the Conservatives and Unionists are the best vehicle for that change

    Even if you’re a Catholic ?

  • DC

    CS,

    Conservatives to the left of us, conservatives to the right.

    Caught in the middle with you.

    Across Britain and Ireland all the bloody southerners are conservative.

    And now the last pretense of liberalism has beeen shown up as conservatism, people have been saying gotcha over the constitutional stance.

    Well, I’m saying gotcha over proof that everything political here seems to be nothing other than Conservative Christian Democratic in fashion and style.

  • grannie trixie

    The idea of joining the Tories to have a better chance of delivering a shared future is ridiculous. Tories and shared future just doesnt sit well together…..for one thing a Tory presence in Ni inevitably brings class barriers into peoples consciousness.

    IJP would always have had the problem of being perceived a Toff which joining the Tories seems to confirm. In NI this image means you are perceived as not understandiing the concerns of ‘ordinary’ people.Plus he will have to get over the hurdle of “could you now trust this man”.

  • Wrinklie Jane

    He said he felt Mr Parsley had “left a promising political career to stumble down a blind alley”

    And once David loses his assembly seat I’m sure he’ll be able to understand exactly what that feels like.

  • Prize to Wrinklie Jane for the earliest “David Ford is going to lose his seat”.

    Ford was elected third in 2007, and the Boundary Commissioners have made Thomas Burns “Dead Man Walking”, so it isn’t likely to happen. But I’ll enjoy having a laugh you on Slugger on the day after polling day in 2011, as I have at those making the same prediction in 2003 and 2007.

  • We’re now taking odds on just that if you fancy a flutter.

    Thanks

  • Apologies all, but I have to ask why a ‘disinterested observer’ can be bothered to comment on Slugger.

  • otto

    “Albertbridge Road”

    Is that where they ended up? What was all the tarting up of the Holywood Road / Belmont Road corner site about? I’ve never seen anyone in it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paddy, if you want to run an ad on that, give us a shout!!

  • “Albertbridge Road”

    In a building where they showed their multi-cultural credentials by flying the flags of Ghana and Togo this summer. Along with other countries where the Orange Order is active.

    If they’re non sectarian, I am a banana.