UUP MP’s testimonal “crossed the line on the independence of the court”

A testimonal provided by former UUP leader, and current MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliot, in the case of a former soldier who was caught driving while disqualified, has been criticised by a Northern Ireland District Judge, John Meehan, for having “crossed the line on the independence of the court”.  As the BBC reports [added emphasis throughout] District Judge John Meehan did not name Mr Elliott in court. However, the judge said the testimonial “crossed the line on the independence of … Read more

High Court awards Elliot £48,750 damages [plus costs] for Flanagan libel

Whilst waiting for the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle to ratify his re-selection as a candidate in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, at the second time of trying, notorious tweeter Phil Flanagan, MLA, has discovered the cost of his “grossly defamatory” libel against former UUP leader, Tom Elliot, then MLA, now MP for FST.  As the BBC reports The High Court in Belfast has awarded almost £50k in damages to a former Ulster Unionist leader over a defamatory message posted on Twitter. Mr Justice Stephens … Read more

NI Assembly Insurers Refuse to Cover Sinn Féin’s Phil Flanagan for Compensation and Costs Awarded in Tom Elliot Libel Case

It’s worth noting to begin with that that refusal is in accordance with advice given to Jack Peel, Deputy Head of Finance, NI Assembly in March 2011 by Karen McLaverty, Vice President, Marsh Ltd, who provide the Assembly insurance broking and risk management services. Nineteen months after libelling the former UUP leader, Tom Elliot, then an MLA, now MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone [since May 2015], the recently deselected Sinn Féin MLA, Phil Flanagan, appeared in Belfast High Court yesterday where he recognised the … Read more

Cartoon – Parity of Steam…

On Wednesday June 3 2015 an Irish tricolour appeared for around ten minutes atop Stormont; cue unionist outrage, and steam bellowed from the ears. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

The message for unionists: pacts work

One of the critical points in this election for unionists was in March 2013. That was when Martin McGuinness stood down as MP and in the ensuing election Francie Molloy was elected. Nigel Lutton (whose father Frederick had been murdered by the IRA and Molloy connected with that murder in the House of Commons by the DUP’s David Simpson) stood as a united unionist candidate. That resulted in a modest increase in the unionist vote which Mike Nesbitt claimed as … Read more

Tom Elliott takes Fermanagh South Tyrone…

Tom Elliott, UUP

With a majority of 530 votes Tom Elliot from the UUP took the seat from Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew. The SDLP candidate John Coyle got 2,732. Was it the wrong decision for the SDLP not to do an election pact with SF? Let us know your views in the comments. Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff. My day job is creating websites and software. My personal site is: Freshideas.ie http://freshideas.ie

Tom Elliott hands the poisoned chalice on

As referred to extensively below Tom Elliott has announced his decision to step down as UUP leader and Danny Kennedy has now announced his decision to stand. There has been much analysis both in the press and in blogs about the decision: as ever the best to my mind is Alex Kane’s in the News Letter. Tom Elliott was elected by a considerable margin over Basil McCrea even if one leaves out the votes from Fermanagh. At the time I … Read more

At least now, the UUP’s blinkers will probably come off

The last time a major Unionist party was lead by anyone from west of Portadown it was Harry West in in 1970’s. That was not a happy period of the UUP’s history. The sense of ‘otherness’ that exists amongst border Unionists is well known, researched and documented. It is not a fictional notion dreamed up to further an argument, it is fair to say they are a different sort of Unionist. It is for that reason that the queston “does … Read more

DUP dedicate victory to Kerr. Kerr brother rebukes UUP leader

While DUP leader Peter Robinson has dedicated his party victory in the Assembly election to PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr. Constable Kerr’s brother Cathair has rounded on UUP leader Tom Elliott describing his comments on SF as prehistoric, prejudiced and questioning if voters would support them. @EamonnMallie prehistoric comments. Ppl need to move forward. Would his voters still vote for him nw? I would strongly doubt they all think that?? They are prejudiced comments at the end of the day. Mark … Read more

Tom Elliott can he lead?

Tom Elliot became a surprising story of the election with his outburst in Omagh and he is destined to be at the centre of things throughout the coming days. With his party achieving 16 seats and Alliance 8 as things stand the UUP will lose a ministry. That is unless he can tempt party reject David McClarty back into the fold. Though as Mark Devenport notes the Alliance party could then try to cook up a counter deal with Steven … Read more

“I have heard it from very good authority…”

When is calling for a properly-funded opposition not a call for a properly-funded opposition? When it’s secret negotiations over compensation for lost ministerial funds… At least, that’s the line the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, has been busily spinning to anyone who will listen. And it comes “from very good authority”… “within the NIO”. [Ah, “the securocrats” – Ed] They’re on ‘our’ side this time! [They always were… – Ed] Indeed. Pete Baker

UUP establishment worried about Basil McCrea?

Basil McCrea launched his campaign with a very interesting speech (copied below) yesterday at the Merchant Hotel in Waring Street, outlining)67 his five pledges for the kinds of changes he wants to make to his party’s approach. It’s fresh, interesting and in places thought provoking. Whether it adds up to a viable platform for change, is a matter for the party’s internal electorate. A good and plausible public speaker, McCrea is not popular with his Assembly colleagues. But his own … Read more