A former Ulster Unionist deputy chairman who was a member of the party’s executive when Peter Hain attempted to get a de facto amnesty for on the runs through Parliament has said that the current situation is the result of a “failing of unionism”.
Terry Wright, who quit the party last year and joined the NI Conservatives, said that “the unscrupulous nature of the NIO and Westminster has proven toxic”.
He said that Tony Blair had been “determined to put whatever pressure was necessary [on unionists] and make whatever deals were required to bring Sinn Fein into the political arena” and added: “Sinn Fein did what it always does. It pursued its agenda relentlessly and put the interests of Sinn Fein above all else.
“This methodology has not gone away, nor will it.
“Unionism collectively and in party terms has proved itself unsure, without vision and without any meaningful strategy or tactics.”