DUP presses Nesbitt on statues

DUP MLA Peter Weir
DUP MLA Peter Weir

The DUP has challenged UUP leader Mike Nesbitt to state which heroes of republicanism he would be happy to see commemorated at Stormont.

In an interview with Alex Kane in the News Letter, Mr Nesbitt said he did not believe that it was “fair” for there to be statues of unionist leaders such as Carson and Craig but none of nationalist or republican figures.

Anticipating DUP criticism, Mr Nesbitt said that if the party attacked the proposal it would demonstrate “the kind of selfish, ourselves alone attitude of the DUP”.

DUP chief whip Peter Weir said: “The UUP leader should clarify if this was a solo run or if it is a new UUP policy. Indeed, his UUP colleagues should make their position clear on the issue.

“Mike Nesbitt must also explain which republican ‘heroes’ the UUP wishes to see commemorated at Stormont. He dodges a question on whether there should be a statue of Michael Collins and uses it as an opportunity to deride the DUP, but he doesn’t make clear what he does want.”

The former UUP man added: “Whilst Mike Nesbitt is concerned about getting more republican symbols into Stormont, the DUP will continue to challenge Sinn Fein and the SDLP to give proper recognition to our constitutional status.”