The DUP has defended Peter Robinson’s use of the will of Jim Allister’s brother-in-law to attack the TUV leader — but yesterday the party attempted to clarify its stance following criticism.
On Monday night the party said in a statement: “The idea that Jim is outraged because comment was made that involves his wife will ring hollow in the ears of anyone who has been a victim of Jim’s numerous vicious statements.
“He can give plenty but doesn’t seem as good at taking it.”
Yesterday Mr Allister made clear that he accepted the rough and tumble of politics but that his wife was not involved in politics and should not be dragged into a row about her late brother’s will.
Monday night’s DUP statement also said that “it is clear from Jim’s furious reaction that he didn’t enjoy the First Minister shining a light into these dealings...we merely point out that we have been attacked for doing political business with republicans by Mr Allister and are therefore surprised at this turn of events”.
In recent years Mr Robinson has said that a central part of his strategy for the DUP is to attract Roman Catholic voters and yesterday the DUP appeared to be keen to clarify that Mr Robinson had not been suggesting that land should not be sold to Catholics or republicans. Yesterday a DUP spokesman said: “Mr Robinson’s remarks were directed at Mr Allister regarding the lack of consistency, not about the decision itself.
“As a general principle, it is entirely a matter for any person who they sell their property to.”
Mr Allister hit back: “It’s clear the DUP spin machine is in over drive to try and recover from their embarrassing PR disaster, but attempting to slur me and my family in the process will not be tolerated.”