Nesbitt: “This is not about wrecking things or pulling things down.”

The UUP Executive met in the Park Ave Hotel in East Belfast to formally decide whether to pull out of the Northern Ireland Executive. Around 90 delegates debated the issue for over an hour and unanimously voted to leave.

The sole UUP minister, Danny Kennedy will tender his resignation on Tuesday and Mike Nesbitt will refuse to nominate a successor. The post will then fall to the DUP to fill the vacancy.

For such an important decision there was a sense of calm at the meeting. Some of the older journalists regaled me with stories of old Unionist Council meetings which were often raucous and always had a tense atmosphere. That sense of division appears to have all but vanished and the party’s free fall has been halted.

After the meeting broke up, I sat down with the UUP leader, Mike Nesbitt.

Some of the key takeaways that I got from it;

  1. On regaining “trust” in Sinn Fein, Nesbitt does see the need for either a referendum on a new deal or the re-establishment of the Independent Monitoring Commission.
  2. He will not be seeking a meeting with Sinn Fein at this stage as he sees no point in having one.
  3. Nesbitt believes that the current executive is a “busted flush” and cannot be mended.
  4. When asked about the DUP’s approach to the current crisis, Nesbitt believes that unlike the DUP, his party are taking a principled stand on this issue.
  5. Nesbitt doesn’t regret cooperating with parties like the PUP over the past few years.
  6. The UUP will not stop co-operation at council level, this decision is just for the Executive.


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  • Catcher in the Rye

    Notable that Nesbitt carefully dodged the question of why his party’s distrust of SF extends only to the Executive and notably does not extend to the committees or other bodies where the UUP continues to operate local government.

  • Zig70

    Let’s apply the logic purely and insist that another previously banned organisation, has members in government, leaves the stage and abandon’s it’s structures.

  • steve white

    talk to vs share platforms with

  • hugh mccloy

    About time something happened to break the status quo of bullshit from Stormont, whether it is them doing the right thing for the wrong reason they are doing something.

    how many we will return to the oul days statements will come out now to scare the public

  • Steve Larson

    He doesn’t believe there is any thing to distrust. This is a political stunt for Stormont not local Govt.

    No interest in talking about it.
    No interest in having the IMC monitor or examine it.
    No interest in reforming or changing any structure.

    They are leaving but he wants people to be assured that it is with the least fuss and damage intended.

  • Granni Trixie

    Call me Ms Distrustful but My default position when I hear someone ( personal or political) claim that they are acting on “principled” grounds is to assume that they are self serving and truth will out through time.

    Nesbitt may think this high wire act is part of a cunning plan for UUP recovery but it’s premature announcement and lack of practical ideas as demonstrated above suggests it is a half baked strategy. Ironically I do believe it will galvanise the DUP to action especially now that PR holidays are over which is one but only one measure of successful outcome. Could be the outcome is not the one Nesbitt planned for.

    Bottom line is I have no more reason to trust him than I have to trust SF or the DUP.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    How will the local administration survive without the input of Danny Kennedy?

    Silver linings and all that….

  • chrisjones2

    Or Carol? Or any of them? What value do they actually add?