Pan Unionist maneouvre thwarted

Moves by all shades of unionism to form a single political grouping has failed to have the desired effect in Belfast City Council as Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance combined to close the loophole which would have allowed the somewhat cynical gesture to alter the numbers of elected representatives for each party ahead of the running of d’hondt on Thursday evening.

Of course, the option is still there for the UUP, PUP and former UDP- now Independent- Frank McCoubrey to join the DUP to maximise that party’s numbers ahead of Thursday’s meeting….