Owen Paterson, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary and the engine behind the new electoral alliance, issued this statement:
“I am delighted that the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland and the Ulster Unionists have made such great progress in creating a new electoral force in Northern Irish politics. The immediate task is ensuring that the Conservatives and Unionists top the poll in the European elections right across the United Kingdom. That will send a signal that Northern Ireland is turning away from the politics of polarisation. It will be a verdict on Labour’s disastrous decade of power and is the best way of defending Northern Ireland’s interests in Europe. We must all get behind Jim Nicholson, the Conservative and Unionist candidate – electing him to the largest UK delegation in the European parliament.”
> This morning’s frontpage included links to last night’s approval of the alliance by both Northern Ireland’s Conservatives and the UUP.