PUP annual conference: Billy Hutchinson tells members that ‘shared island is a falsehood’

PUP leader Billy Hutchinson told his party’s annual conference in Artigarvan on Saturday that a “shared island is a falsehood”.

By Graeme Cousins
Sunday, 10th October 2021, 6:18 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th October 2021, 6:18 pm
PUP leader Billy Hutchinson at his party's annual conference
PUP leader Billy Hutchinson at his party's annual conference

He said: “It will not work. We are the British presence in Northern Ireland, people need to understand that. The social and economic welfare of our people is best served in the United Kingdom.”

He commented that the significance of the four Unionist leaders coming together to oppose the NI Protocol “should not be underestimated”

At the conference Winston Irvine urged fellow party members to “continually support” leader Billy Hutchinson’s calls for a unionist convention.

He said: “A convention is a powerful example of constructive leadership.”

Mr Irvine added: “Let’s be clear, we need to be defiant and determined for the interests of all the people of Northern Ireland. PUP have shown we are not problem makers, we are problem solvers.”

Also speaking at the conference was deputy leader John Kyle, who said: “We have to break down barriers for our working class communities, whether it’s barriers to education, employment, or social and cultural barriers.

“We will pursue a society where everyone can reach their full potential.”

Guest speaker at the conference, LCC Chairman David Campbell, launched an attack on Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.

He said: “Coveney has arguably done more than any other person or group in the past two years to wreck the Belfast Agreement and to destroy the positive relationships that have been built up with the Republic of Ireland over the past 20 years.

“Does he not accept any responsibility for the misrepresentation of the agreement and for imposing a protocol on the people of Northern Ireland that he always knew would be unacceptable and unworkable?”

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