Ex UVF prisoner leaves PUP

The News letter has a story today that another PUP member has left. Tommy Sandford who is an ex loyalist prisoner and was the sole PUP councillor for Castlereagh for one term from 2001 until his defeat in 2005 (there are none now) has resigned. He told the News Letter that the party’s link with paramilitaries (the UVF) was a “major factor” in his decision. There is no comment on the PUP website (there have been no additions since the press release on 10th June). If even ex UVF prisoners are leaving the PUP because of that party’s links with active terrorist murderers, it continues to be difficult to comprehend Christian GP John Kyle’s willingness to remain as the PUP’s leader. As I suggested before when it comes to integrity the new PUP emperor’s clothes look remarkably see through and unless and until he does break the link completely most will see him as being stark naked.

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  • slug

    Perhaps because he is a Christian?

  • Mr E Mann

    Not sure you are diagnosing this correctly. The PUP is too small for anyone to say with any statistical assurance that a couple of high profile defections mean that it is falling apart. Even if it is, though, it could simply be that PUP was largely organized around one leader, he died, and the party can’t survive without him. Perhaps someone who is more in a position to know what goes on inside the PUP has an opinion bout this?

    Thanks to Slug for beating me to an important observation. Last I checked, it was pretty much understood that, if you committed a sectarian murder in NI, you were probably a Christian.

  • USA

    Surely if “The PUP is too small” then “a couple of high profile defections” actually carry more impact than they would in a larger political party.

  • Alan Maskey

    It is wrong to snipe at Kyle’s religion without knowing anything about him. It would depend what type of Christian this Kyle is. Is he a British Israelite like Roy Bradford, Wesley Somerville and the church burning pastor whose name escapes me? Is he just into reading his bible and attending his local chapel?
    Is there a future for the PUP? Probably not. Is thre a role for the TUV? Probably not except as DUP critics.

  • Rory Carr

    On Monday morning Herself was delighted to receive her latest “find” from Amazon in the mail. This turned out to be a history of the Verney family, one of whom had fallen as a standard-bearer for Charles I in the English Civil War and one who had brought shame on himself by supporting Cromwell, and one who had survived the Siege of Drogheda “only to be stabbed to death four days later”.

    There were various rogues, buccaneers, misused women and misbegotten women mentioned in the blurb but my favourite was Tom who “was a devout Christian and a petty crook”. The author did not make clear which attribute he considered to be a virtue and which a character defect. Indeed the very seamlessness of the description leads one to believe that he may have considered both characteristics to be complimentary.

  • Michael
  • Rory Carr

    This news of the bunch of nasties sacked by HMRC after being found to have deliberately and, motivated by racial hatred, reduced benefit payments to claimants is the big NI news story to feature prominently in Britain and I was surprised that we have not had a thread on it on Slugger, which I suppose may have been due to being crowded out by “Watergate NI”.

    Although it may seem like small potatoes in comparison there was something especially nasty and vicious in the behaviour of these individuals and the hurt, confusion and confidence destruction engendered in the victims can only but be imagined. I do hope that they receive adequate compensation for the pain and distress caused by these vile louts. It is at laest to be applauded that they have been discovered and sacked and I presume will now face criminal charges.

    “People in this country are sick of ethnic minorities coming here and getting things ahead of us.” claims former TUV candidate, Ann Cooper. Perhaps it was such opinions, which could be construed as an attack on the Planter stock in Ireland, which led to her estrangement from the TUV.

  • The PUP was built around one man, that the party has managed to carry on for so long since his death has surprised me. New, small parties need stability of leadership and time to grow. This has for more than one reason been denied the PUP, perhaps now is the time for them to consider their options. I do not mean that in an offensive way but it may be a good idea to be proactive about the future rather than continuing to slide down the hill.

  • YelloSmurf

    John Kyle actually takes his Christianity seriously rather than using it as a convenient excuse for prejudice and hatred. I can understand his willingness to join the PUP to attempt positive change in Loyalist communities, but he continued involvement is puzzling, given the number of people who have left the PUIP because they feel that the party’s continued links to the UVF are preventing this sort of positive change.

  • Alan Maskey


    Of course, these civil servants break the law. The French obviously think a little bit differently than e liberals. Not all immigrants are heroes, though many of them do, apparently, work in brothels and lap dance clubs, neither of which I frequent.
    People who feel sympathy for these people should take them in and house and feed them at their own expense.