Sir Jeffrey said: “Our slogan in the Northern Ireland Assembly election was ‘moving forward together’. That is true in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol where we cannot make progress if the concerns of more than 40% of the electorate are ignored.
“Moving forward together also relates to the situation amongst those of us who value and cherish our place within the United Kingdom.
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“The clear message I heard from pro-Union voters right across Northern Ireland during the election campaign was that they are sick and tired of a divided and fractured unionism.”
The DUP leader said he was “delighted” to be addressing a reinvigorated DUP constituency association in South Down which is “relaunching with a unity of purpose and energy”.
Referring to the party retaining the seat with their candidate Diane Forsythe, Sir Jeffrey said: “The unionist seat here in South Down was retained and there is much to build for the future. I am delighted to see an influx of new members with renewed energy.”
He pointed out that in constituencies like Strangford, North Antrim and East Antrim there were enough unionist votes cast to return 12 pro-Union MLAs but only nine were elected.
Sir Jeffrey added: “A more cohesive unionism is not only what the unionist community want to see, but it is vital in maximising the pro-Union voice and in strengthening our place within the United Kingdom.”