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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Nigel Farage endorses Paisley and Wilson weeks after Party pact with TUV

Ian Paisley MP

Reform UK Party Leader Nigel Farage has today (Monday 10th June) endorsed DUP North Antrim candidate Ian Paisley, along with DUP East Antrim candidate Sammy Wilson in the forthcoming Westminster elections.

It comes only weeks after the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party leader Jim Allister MLA signed a pact with Reform UK, under the leadership at that time of Ben Habib.

The TUV has been running its party election campaign since the announcement under the ticket of ‘TUV - Reform UK’.

Speaking in an interview on Monday, Mr Farage said:

“As far as the Northern Ireland thing is concerned, I want to make it clear, in whilst there have been negotiations going on in previous times, I will personally be endorsing Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson.”

PA journalist Claudia Savage responded: “Despite the fact that the TUV have have the ‘Reform’ label all over their election?”

Smiling, Mr Farage replied:

“Well, new leadership brings change. I wish the TUV well but I will stand up for Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley as people I fought with all through the Brexit years.”

Responding to the endorsement this evening, North Antrim DUP candidate Ian Paisley and East Antrim DUP candidate Sammy Wilson said:

“Nigel Farage is a household name and we welcome his endorsement as the best pro-union candidate in our constituencies. Nigel knows us and knows our record of delivering for the people.

“This is a very embarrassing for Jim Allister as the Reform UK Leader has endorsed us rather than him because the Reform UK Leader recognised that on the big issues we could be relied upon.

“Some people know how to build relationships and deliver results, others just talk about the problems.

“The Electoral Commission has ruled that the ‘TUV-Reform UK’ description is misleading. With the Reform UK Leader now backing me, its clear the TUV-Reform UK relationship is non-existent.

”In light of this development, it is time that TUV stopped trying to fool the voters by using Reform UK branding and logos when it is clear that the Leader of Reform UK is not supporting TUV.

“It’s time for TUV to drop the Reform UK branding.”

Following today’s revelations TUV Party Leader Jim Allister, who himself is a candidate in North Antrim in the Westminster elections, commented:

“TUV entered an electoral arrangement with Reform UK in good faith. We have kept faith with that agreement.

“The comments by Mr Farage today are, of course, disappointing and not compatible with the content of a conversation I had with him last week.

“The endorsement that TUV seeks in this election is that of ordinary voters who know who has from the start told them the truth about the Union-dismantling Protocol, while the DUP tried to hoodwink them with false claims that they had got rid of the Irish Sea border.”

Later on Monday evening, a further short statement was issued by Reform UK, with a spokesperson saying:

“The Reform Party remains committed to our alliance with the TUV and candidates will be standing under our joint logo throughout Northern Ireland.

“Nigel Farage was giving a personal view in respect of two DUP candidates with whom he has worked closely in the past but he has not changed the policy and does not intend to do so. Reform remains a hundred percent committed to the Union.”


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