Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-
“It is largely a matter of indifference to TUV as to who leads the DUP. It is its policies of putting IRA/Sinn Fein at the top and heart of government with which we take issue. Now more than ever since the Government panel confirmed the IRA – which Arlene Foster admits is ‘inextricably linked’ to Sinn Fein – still exists, retains weapons, murdered McGuigan and whose Army Council remains in tact and controls both the IRA and Sinn Fein. Yet, the response of the DUP, wholly endorsed by Arlene Foster, was to sweep this murder, like the Quinn and McCartney murders before, under the carpet, for the sake of clinging to office and making a ‘fresh start’ with IRA/Sinn Fein.
“The IRA murdered and the response of the DUP was to renew its vows in government with IRA/Sinn Fein! Guns and government, as with Trimble, now don’t matter to the DUP. Ironically, it was over guns and government that Arlene Foster resigned from the UUP. Now she leads the DUP into precisely that arrangement: Sinn Fein inextricably linked to the still armed IRA.
“However, the leadership change in the DUP does symbolically complete the metamorphosis of the DUP into the UUP of old. Both original UUP policies and personalities now rule. Implementing the Belfast Agreement has become the DUP’s reason d’être. What Trimble started Robinson and Mrs Foster now complete. Though there are some rumblings of discontent from ‘old DUP’, the truth is they swallowed the camel long ago.”