world : Farage made 'dubious' remarks on NI - Jim Allister

world : Farage made 'dubious' remarks on NI - Jim Allister
world : Farage made 'dubious' remarks on NI - Jim Allister

Thursday 13 June 2024 10:31 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has made some "dubious utterances" on Northern Ireland, Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) leader Jim Allister has said.

But the TUV leader said he does not believe he was naive to trust Reform UK, and the two parties' electoral alliance "still stands".

Reform leader Nigel Farage this week personally backed two Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidates in the general election campaign - despite Reform's earlier alliance with rival TUV.

TUV had announced an electoral partnership with Reform UK in March when Richard Tice was the party leader.

But on Monday, Reform UK's new leader Mr Farage said he was personally endorsing the DUP's Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson.

He said that in regard to "the Northern Ireland thing" he would be endorsing the two DUP candidates "as people I fought with all through the Brexit years".

Mr Allister, who is TUV's candidate in North Antrim where Mr Paisley is seeking re-election, said he has not spoken to Mr Farage since the announcement.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback he acknowledged the situation is "rather incongruous", but said Reform UK's leadership has made "clear that our memorandum of understanding of cooperation continues".

Mr Allister said that Mr Farage's contribution to the Brexit debate was "unparalleled", but he has "some idiosyncrasies that come to the surface from time to time".

He made reference to past comments in which Mr Farage told The Irish Times, external there would be a united Ireland "one day" but not immediately.

"There have been one or two dubious utterances relating to Northen Ireland, 'the Northern Ireland thing', and indeed some previous comments about Irish unity and matters like that," he said.

"But I'm not here to denigrate Nigel Farage. The endorsement I seek is the endorsement of the people."

Mr Allister claimed the DUP has "sadly tried to hoodwink unionists" over post-Brexit trade checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The DUP, Stormont's largest unionist party, ended its two-year boycott of the devolved institutions in February following a deal with the UK government aimed at addressing concerns.

DUP leader Gavin Robinson last month accepted his party oversold the deal they negotiated, saying there "should have been more cautious realism".

Mr Allister said it raises a "fundamental issue of trust for every voter".

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