UUP remains house divided

FROM: R Linton, (Address supplied).

While they might have elected a new leader, recent news stories in the last few days have revealed that the UUP remains as hopelessly divided as before.

First Jim Nicholson MEP accuses fellow UUP members of plotting against him. He accused them of ‘underhandedness,’ and of being ‘faceless’ and ‘gutless.’

Then the next day we had further revelations that up to as many as five UUP MLAs – one third of the total UUP Assembly group were reassessing their position and may desert the party.

These are clearly extraordinary public divisions even for a party as riven with them as the UUP has been.

On the first of these – Jim Nicholson MEP’s allegations that his own party colleagues are plotting against him – this has real repercussions for Lurgan. After all Mr Nicholson is MEP for the whole of Northern Ireland including Lurgan.

Yet here we have the UUP MEP for Lurgan, on his own admission, being targeted by his own party colleagues for negative press briefings as part of a conspiracy to get rid of him.

The second of these latest public splits in the UUP also have a direct impact upon Lurgan. For after all they could have an impact on who will be the Minister for roads in and around Lurgan in the event of the UUP losing an Executive place following a significant loss of MLAs.

It is clear from these latest revelations that a new leader has not made any difference to the UUP’s culture of infighting and squabbling. Nor has it had any impact upon the UUP’s complete lack of discipline or direction.

We are looking instead at yet another round of internal bloodletting played out in public with yet another reduction in elected representatives and loss of influence.

When will the UUP learn?