THERE is no difference between the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party, according to Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson.
Mr Dickson, the party’s chief whip, said Mike Nesbitt’s decision to support a unionist unity candidate in Mid Ulster demonstrates just that.
On Sunday the UUP leader indicated the party may stand more unionist unity candidates in future elections, saying: “It would be foolish to rule anything out at this stage.”
Responding to the events of recent days, Mr Dickson said the UUP had failed to convince people the party is significantly different to the DUP and added that there seemed to be a “tribal” attitude developing.
“The decision to support a unionist unity candidate and his [Nesbitt’s] subsequent comments that he may do so again destroyed any remnants of the illusion that there is any meaningful difference between the two main unionist parties,” said Mr Dickson.
“This decision has only increased tensions and strengthened the belief that the UUP still has a tribal ‘us and them’ attitude.
“The events of the last week have demonstrated once again that the Alliance Party offers the only meaningful alternative to DUP/Sinn Fein dominance. Alliance is a party for everyone, offering a truly progressive vision for the future of Northern Ireland.”