Peter Robinson & Diane Dodds addressed DUP party members, supporters and Euro electioneers on Monday night at a buffet in Corrick House just outside Augher, County Tyrone. In his address ( passable mobile phone audio here ), Peter Robinson addressed several points:
1) That double jobbing will be phased out over the next two elections ,as the Assembly beds down and as Assembly members gain experience requiring less assistance from experienced MP`s. Anyone with a dual mandate in the meantime will only receive one salary. Robinson took the time to attack William Hague`s hypocrisy on this issue when most of the Tory party backbenches hold company directorships and other careers alongside their Westminster duties. He also highlighted Reg Empey`s double mandate!
2) Ongoing grassroots consultation and party streamlining, including a new format to the annual conference – which will be taking place on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st November 2009! This will effectively be the launch of the Westminster election campaign.
3) A new policy document will be delivered to members, which will also be distributed across the Province in sections over a period of time with an emphasis on door to door delivery. This document will answer DUP criticisms and it will show that the DUP is the only Unionist party with a strategy to reach a Unionist ideal position. ( Presumably this is an inference to a qualified majority Assembly with a voluntary coalition and an official opposition )
4) The DUP will devolve Policing & Justice on DUP terms.
5) The DUP will unashamedly extract as many sidedeals as it can to the benefit of the people of Northern Ireland and Unionism.
6) On Unionist unity in Fermanagh and South Belfast – the DUP as the party with the most votes in both constituencies continues to offer a pact to the UUP.
Diane Dodds also announced the launch of her new website.
A collection was made at the end of the night for David Simpsons Help Our Heroes sponsored walk.