Jim Nicholson: Unionists must react with cool heads

Triumphant Sinn Fein northern leader Michelle ONeill with, left, Mary Lou McDonald
Triumphant Sinn Fein northern leader Michelle ONeill with, left, Mary Lou McDonald

We have lost our unionist majority at Stormont for the first time in 100 years, a position I never thought would ever happen, and we urgently need to set about retrieving the situation.

Over the coming days, we must approach our future strategy with cool heads and with clear minds, as we represent the thinking, the fears and, indeed, the hopes and the aspirations of the wider unionist electorate.

Jim Nicholson MEP

Jim Nicholson MEP

The unionist people deserve better than has been the case by that offered by some of their public representatives in recent times.

They have a right to demand more and we must ensure that their demands are met. Above all, they have been made to feel let down.

I do not expect Sinn Fein will shift their position or tone down their insatiable political and constitutional demands.

They will become more belligerent, more determined to advance their strident republican agenda.

I have been saddened by the electoral loss for many close colleagues and friends in this political carnage.

I personally have experienced electoral set-back and I know how they are feeling.

However, we must move and work to a better day for unionism when our position within the United Kingdom will be further strengthened and preserved, in the interests of all of the people of Northern Ireland.

Jim Nicholson, Ulster Unionist MEP