A coup for the Conservatives came this afternoon in Northern Ireland as Ian Parsley (not Paisley) defected from the cross-community Alliance Party of Northern Ireland to the Conservatives. He is a councillor in North Down and was the Alliance candidate at the European election in June.
He explained his move thus:
"Having given significant thought to the future of Northern Ireland I
came to the conclusion that, with a General Election pending, the best
means of delivering a shared future and a genuinely new type of
politics would be through David Cameron's Conservative Party."
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson welcomed Cllr Parsley to the Tory fold:
"The mood for change in Northern Ireland is very strong. I am delighted
that Ian Parsley, who is a rising star of the new generation of
Northern Ireland politicians, has decided to join David Cameron's
Conservative Party in order to help bring Northern Ireland into
mainstream UK politics."