UKIP prepares for conference

UKIP leader in Northern Ireland David McNarry
UKIP leader in Northern Ireland David McNarry

UKIP in Northern Ireland will hold its annual party conference in Co Antrim today.

Party leader David McNarry will be the main speaker, with other contributions from three of UKIP’s candidates in next year’s Assembly elections - Councillors Noel Jordan and Donna Anderson of Mid and East Antrim Council, and Councillor David Jones of the new Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council.

Delegates will also be addressed by Caroline Stephens of the Leave EU group, when she is expected to be critical of what she calls David Cameron’s “feeble” attempts at re-negotiation of Britain’s EU membership.

Rupert Matthews, campaign manager of the Better off Out Campaign, is also expected to attend.

He is a former Conservative councillor who worked in Conservative Central Office, but became a strong advocate of leaving the European Union after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.

Earlier this week, David McNarry wished DUP leader Peter Robinson well in his announced retirement, but said his it would create “opportunities for new leaders” and marks “another stage in the development of unionism”.

He added: “Northern Ireland politics needs to become more fully engaged in national politics”.