The TUV has accused two Christian charities of unfairly excluding its candidates from hustings events (see top right), a decision it says “does not stand up to scrutiny”.
Lagan Valley TUV candidate Samuel Morrison said it was “manifestly unfair” for Evangelical Alliance and CARE to exclude his party from events outside North Antrim and said the party’s North Down candidate, William Cudworth, had been invited before having the invitation rescinded.
He said that even if the hustings were based on the top five parties in a constituency, that should qualify the party for a place at the Lagan Valley hustings.
Mr Morrison said he was particularly unhappy at the move because “TUV is the only party I am aware of who has referenced the Ashers case in our literature and put the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage on the front of our election communication”.
He added: “Other parties – such as the DUP – didn’t even bother to respond to the Department of Justice consultation on abortion.”
He made clear: “TUV is not an opponent of the Evangelical Alliance. Indeed, last year we had a speaker from the organisation at our party conference. It is deeply disappointing that they seem set to exclude the TUV voice from these events, particularly when we have been so clear on moral issues.”
David Smith from Evangelical Alliance said that it had “set out criteria in line with the Electoral Commission guidelines. Unfortunately, this means that not all candidates will be invited to every event.”