Tories becoming an English nationalist party, says DUP MP

The Conservative Party is becoming more an “English nationalist party” that does not understand what is happening in the devolved nations, a DUP MP has said.

By Geraldine Scott
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 12:01 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 2:43 pm
Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley

In an interview with GB News to be broadcast on Thursday, Ian Paisley Jr said although it was said his natural allies in Westminster should be the Tories, he found Labour gave Northern Ireland a “far better deal”.

Speaking to Gloria De Piero, Mr Paisley said: “Yes, the Conservatives call themselves the Conservative and Unionist Party, but I believe that the Conservative Party today is becoming more and more an English nationalist party that doesn’t really understand what’s going on in Scotland, certainly in Northern Ireland, and in other regions.

“And we’ve got to, and I’ve got to, try and encourage them and educate them and help them to understand.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He said: “We’re not little Englanders, trying to be little Englanders. We’re proud Northern Ireland people who have an identity of their own and you’ve got to understand it and govern on that basis.”

Mr Paisley said he could usually get a meeting with Boris Johnson if he wanted one, but that it was difficult to keep the Prime Minister focused on Northern Ireland because “he’s pulled in so many different directions”.

“We’ve got to do things to draw his attention before things go bad again in Northern Ireland, and I would far rather he gets it now than reacts to a situation,” he said.

“We’ve always had a better deal from Labour,” he added.

“Anytime we’ve had a Labour prime minister or a Labour secretary of state, they’ve understood Northern Ireland, usually better.

“Their bark has been worse than their bite you might say. We’ve always kind of had the fear, will Labour take us in a particular direction closer to a united Ireland? But their bark about that and their actual bite has been very, very different.”

Asked if he trusted Mr Johnson to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol wrangling, he said: “I don’t trust anyone in politics, I’ve become really sceptical, and I think that it’s foolish to put your trust in people.

“We can only trust the people, that they will hopefully elect sensible people, and then that we can trust those people to respond positively to the messages and the political policies that we have.

“But the idea that I’m trusting this particular politician, I think those days have long since gone.”

The full interview will be broadcast on GB News at 12.30pm on Thursday, March 31.

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdowns having had a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry, Editor