Sam McBride in today’s News Letter has an interesting report noting the defection of former UUP MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Alastair Patterson to the DUP.
Speaking about the decision Patterson said;
“This move to join the DUP was a step I needed to make. At the Assembly election in May the people of Northern Ireland delivered a clear and resounding message of endorsement of Arlene Foster as their First Minister and the leader of unionism.
“Unionism in Northern Ireland is in an extremely strong position and will get even stronger if more people like myself make the right decision and get behind Arlene and support her as their leader of unionism.
“Under her leadership the DUP can and will dominate Northern Ireland politics for many years to come.
“Being a unionist with very traditional core values as a churchman, an Orangeman, and a bandsman I feel that the DUP clearly and articulately represent these values.
“Consequently, this is the right time for me to join the party.”
He was co-opted earlier in the year as an MLA, but lost his bid for re-election at the most recent Assembly Election.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs