The SDLP has reacted against a UDA-linked magazine’s suggestion loyalists should consider tactically voting SDLP to keep out Sinn Fein in some seats.
The Loyalist magazine, produced by the UDA’s political advisers, the UPRG, said in an article: “We need the SDLP to flourish (to a certain extent) to waylay the inexorable rise of the Sinn Fein machine ... SDLP votes can also assist unionism by mitigating the power of Sinn Fein votes in predominantly CNR (Catholic Nationalist Republican) communities.”
But SDLP MLA John Dallat said of loyalist paramilitaries: “They are still up to their necks in criminality and drug dealing. The notion that the UPRG can influence how unionists vote is another con game to create the illusion that they have anything positive to contribute to the political process. The SDLP doesn’t want the support of any paramilitary group.”