The News Letter invited David McNarry to explain why he walked out of the Talkback studio on Thursday. Here is his reasoning:
I regret leaving the Talkback studio earlier today but I just didn’t want to be there any more.
The discussion about Martin McGuinness’s comments on reconciliation deteriorated as the programme went on. (a recording of the programme is here, and the section of debate before Mr McNarry leaves is around 35 minutes into it)
I felt I did not want to be in the company of the other participant, Jude Collins.
When he mentioned the Orange Order as being anti Catholic I felt he was trying to get at me.
The Orange Order doesn’t hate anyone. We are pro-Protestant.
I asked him to retract his comments and I saw a look on his face that I didn’t like.
I did not want to be involved in this kind of warped stuff coming on air.
Talkback is a great programme. It really gets into the stories making the headlines.
I accepted the invite to talk about Martin McGuinness’s comments about unionists having the burden of reconciliation.
It was a challenging remark.
It wasn’t said flippantly. It was a deliberate swipe at unionism.
I find it interesting when McGuinness lets his guard down, when he reverts to his real persona that he can’t stand a unionist about him.
Myself and many other unionists figured him out a long time ago.
He’s not the peacemaker he makes out. He isn’t all things to all men as he wants people to view him. He is an out and out republican.
I am a confident unionist. The Union is in very good shape as far as I am concerned.
McGuinness is promoting division with these serious allegations.
His comments about unionists not reciprocating gestures that he and senior colleagues had undertaken are designed to provoke.
He shook hands with the Queen, but has gone on record as saying that she is not his Queen.
She would consider him one of her subjects as deputy first minister of a sovereign devolved government which derives its power from Westminster which takes its powers from the Queen.
This isn’t much of a gesture if it’s without genuine respect.
He’s doing it as part of a strategy.
What does he want unionists to do?
And which unionists is he talking about? He said some unionists, why not say which ones?
He leave things up in the air.
It is clear agitation on his behalf.
If he tells us what the problem is I am quite sure unionists would do their best to talk to him and allay the worries he has.
We can’t go on with this perpetual argument of give, give, give where unionists aren’t playing their role in building peace.
If it was designed to rile, it certainly riled me.
That’s why I went on the programme.
I’ve called for Martin McGuinness to apologise. If he’s not man enough to apologise, he should consider his position as deputy first minister.
As to Jude Collins, I have never met him before in my life and I don’t particularly want to meet him again.
He came across to me as someone who thinks all unionists are bad people.
I wasn’t going to take that from anyone.
David McNarry, Ukip leader in Northern Ireland
• Editor’s note: After Mr McNarry left the studio, William Crawley asked Jude Collins: “Is it possible to be a member of the Orange Order and not be a sectarian anti Catholic?” and Mr Collins replied: “Oh yeah, it is. I do believe that, I do believe that.”