PUP Conference receives internal and external advice on its image & reform – will it listen & act?

PARTY CONFERENCE season has started with the Progressive Unionist Party meeting at Corr’s Corner Hotel. Both internal and external voices critiqued the party’s perception problem and hinted at ways that it could addressed. The impact of women in the party continues to grow. Deputy leader John Kyle was honest about the disappointing election result. And party leader Billy Hutchinson called for progress on legacy issues, economic growth, welfare reform, and the persistence of poverty and deprivation.

PUP Conference encouraged to be self-critical; recognises another marginalised community & adopts pro-Equal Marriage policy

The PUP conference left Belfast this year and headed to Brownlow House in Lurgan. More motions, more members speaking up to propose or support those motions, more women, more men in suits and ties, more delegates than recent years with lots of new faces from the new Mid-Ulster branch. If was a conference that valued protest but was told to concentrate more on politics. Co-operation and cross-party dialogue was necessary to deliver solutions. PUP Belfast city councillor Dr John Kyle …

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PUP conference – Irish language, welfare reform, parading, Matt Baggott and the leader’s speech

Billy Hutchinson - newly elected as PUP leader

Today was Billy Hutchinson’s second conference as leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. His taking over the reins last year was seen as a last gasp attempt to keep the party open for business. The number of people attending the conference was up this year: I’d estimate a hundred people were in the Ramada Encore room, though not all had yet paid their party dues. The PUP seeks to give working class loyalists a voice. The big question for the …

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Party conferences dates, venues and a thought for exhibitors who want to wrestle control back from the parties

UUP gavel

A quick post to remind political conference followers about the start of the conference season. UUP are tempting metaphors and analogies with their conference on 21 (members only) and 22 (public sessions) September in Titan Belfast. Last year Secretary of State Owen Paterson popped into the conference and said a few words on his way past; Mike Nesbitt gave a Cameron-style speech on the economy without notes challenging the party to: … become net contributors to Her Majesty’s Treasury. We …

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Round-up of the PUP conference (including audio from speeches)

Billy Hutchinson speaking after taking over as PUP leader

The Progressive Unionist Party’s annual conference was held on Saturday morning in the large conference room in City East this morning. About 60 people attended. This year exhibitors hadn’t been invited, curtailing a conference revenue stream, but also keeping the focus on party business. I’ve a theory that most party conferences are identifiable from a photo of the back of delegates’ heads. This morning’s conference was dominated by older men, though some younger people and some women were present. As …

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Billy Hutchinson is the new Progressive Unionist Party leader

Billy Hutchinson - newly elected as PUP leader

Billy Hutchinson was the only nomination for leadership and was elected unopposed at this morning’s Progressive Unionist Party conference held in East Belfast. You can watch his first interview as leader and hear his comments on what the PUP stand for, where the party is going and whether the PUP has the energy to go forward. Hutchinson spoke of the continued need to challenge criminality, repeating his mantra: You can’t be a criminal and a loyalist at the same time. …

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