RENEWED calls for a return of direct rule from a new committee arising from the flag protests, “would only undermine unionism” a senior DUP man has said.
Veteran victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer unveiled the news, adding that the removal of the flag from City Hall had been “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for many.
But Strangford’s DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has responded that such a move would only hurt their cause.
“No one would suggest for a second that Stormont is perfect, but it is immeasurably better than direct rule,” he said.
“Do those who advocate a return to the dark days of direct rule forget how republicans used and abused direct rule to their benefit and to unionism’s detriment? Whilst they may purport to oppose republicans, a return to direct rule would play into republican hands... Some of us haven’t forgotten how direct rule is Dublin rule.”
Asked to elaborate, a spokesman for the party said that direct rule would be no “unionist utopia”, but rather the UK government had made it clear in the past there would be strong input from the government of the Irish Republic in such a situation.