UUP leadership favourite Doug Beattie rules out single NI unionist party
The prospective leader of the Ulster Unionist Party has ruled out the possibility of a single unionist party in Northern Ireland.
Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie is the only declared candidate to replace outgoing leader Steve Aiken, who has announced his resignation.
Interviewed on the BBC, the former Army captain ruled out closer co-operation with the largest unionist party, the DUP.
Mr Beattie said: “We can want the same destination but we can go about it in a different way, and we have gone about in a different way because we have brought about solutions. We haven’t sucked our teeth and stood there with our hands in our pockets.”
Mr Beattie added: “Our job is to challenge them and to stand on our own two feet, and we will challenge the DUP on things we know they have got absolutely wrong.
“We will challenge them at every single level. There will not be one unionist party, that is fact.
“It does not help unionism for the DUP and the UUP to come together.”
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