Cllr Henry Reilly joins the TUV

Cllr Henry Reilly (formerly of UKIP) announced today that he was joining the TUV. Speaking about his decision to join Reilly said;

In joining TUV I know I am doing the right thing, because this is the only unionist party still standing unapologetically for the traditional unionist principles in which I believe. It is also a party wholly committed to re-establishing the national sovereignty of the UK by taking the essential step of leaving the EU. Thus, it is my natural home and I greatly appreciate the kinship and welcome which I feel in joining TUV. I look forward to playing my part in rebuilding the voice of traditional unionism in South Down, after all the disappointment of those who have toadied to the IRA/Sinn Fein agenda. I sense a reawakening of traditional unionism in this constituency in which I want to play a leading part.

His new party leader, Jim Allister said;

It is not without significance that in the last European election between us we captured over 100,000 votes. With this substantial swathe of unionist opinion now represented under the TUV banner it gives us great momentum going forward to challenge the treachery in the week that the DUP is preparing to renew its vows with the IRA in government. After the panel report there is no wriggle room for the DUP. They are now the handmaidens in government of the IRA, that illegal organisation which controls the DUP’s partner, Sinn Fein. Going forward we will relentlessly expose and oppose the perfidy of those who have given us IRA rule.

Reilly did poll over 20,000 first preferences at the last election and does have a personal vote in parts of his constituency. The Unionist field in South Down at the next election will be interesting.

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • chrisjones2
  • Granni Trixie

    A home from home?

  • Gopher

    To be fair at least Henry always gives you an opinion and the DUP I believe at the time of the Syrian airstrike vote felt the Christian sects would be safer under Assad. It seems Putin has put to the test which side it is better to bomb for to see if Henry is vindicated.

  • Dan

    I had more faith in UKIP in NI with Reilly on board than I do with the current leader.

  • Chingford Man

    As a Kipper from Essex, I’m frustrated that a great UKIP opportunity next year in Enoch Powell’s old constituency seems to have been lost. I don’t know what exactly led to this situation and wouldn’t be very interested to find out. Best wishes to Henry anyway for the future.

  • Mer Curial

    That’s odd Gopher, as far as I last knew D. Vance was a prominent TUV supporter yet he was constantly calling on his blog for Syria to be ‘bombed back to the stone age’.

    – then again he’s called for the same for Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and S. Arabia in the past…. 😉

  • Robin Keogh

    He will be right at home, best of luck to him

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Don’t worry, UKIP and the TUV are pretty much the same thing. The only reason they don’t merge is the egos of the people involved.

  • notimetoshine

    It still beggars belief that Enoch Powell was ever elected in south down. I mean its not exactly a unionist heartland.

    Henry Reilly has his personal vote and does good constituency work in the area, he might have a good chance. As long as he keeps the silliness to a minimum

  • Tochais Siorai

    Both boundary and demographic changes have changed the goalposts since Powell’s time.

  • Kevin Breslin

    ex-UKIP man joins what’s basically UKIP without Farage … a NI version of Robert Kilroy Silk’s UKIP.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Neither DUP nor the TUV, nor UKIP nor Reilly are supporting direct UK involvement in Syrian Civil War which I guess is a positive.

  • Gaygael

    Not completely unexpected. Interesting flux in unionism at the moment, but not significant movement yet between the big 2. Nesbitt has picked of a handful of DUP defectors, and an independent in ballyclare who had originally been TUV.

    UKIP picked up Donna Anderson from TUV in ballymena. Brings them up to 2 reps on the mid and east Antrim council, and balancing well with their other councillor who got a significant 11% in Westminster in east Antrim, in council but a dfferent assembly constiuency. Was the sweetener a run at the assembly for her in north antrim? Or Will they stick with Robert hill?
    By the way, east Antrim could be a UKIP breakthrough.

    Before recent shenanigans, I was feeling TUV would hold north Antrim but no gains and with UKIP breakthrough in south down and east Antrim and hold Strangford. It may have prompted the discussion of what really separates UKIP and TUV beyond personalities. A nuance of conscience votes on social policy issues? Namely abortion and marriage which UKIP give free votes. (Am I right?) and ukips support for GFA? Maybe a bigger stumbling block. But primarily the personalities are the blocker.

    So how much of a personal vote does Henry Reilly have? I have been saying that the unionist competition will be very tight. UKIP were only 1.1% behind the DUP at Westminster, and 2.2% behind the UUP. The UUP may lose some to John McAllister if he is running, but I also think John maybe benefit from some SDLP/alliance/green.
    Did Henry Reilly take the UKIP party apparatus on the ground with him? I presume it’s much of a one man band there.

    I had felt this could be a gain from DUP by UKIP. I may change that to gain from DUP by TUV. South Down will be very interesting.

    If I was Jim allister I would be chasing down Ruth Patterson for South Belfast. A return to the assembly with three seats would be solid progress. Interesting times ahead.

  • Gerry Leddy

    where else could he go?

    Im sure he knows that he would be better off in a life raft

    than in Nl21