UUP members leave party at Upper Bann AGM

It is reported that around 30 members of the Ulster Unionist Party walked out of the AGM of the party leader's Upper Bann constituency association.

Following the meeting on Saturday, which was attended by over a hundred people, one report indicated that the walkout was in protest at the leadership of Mr David Trimble and that there was the prospect of UUP branches closing as the membership of the party dwindled.

Last week, fierce political rivals, the Democratic Unionist Party claimed that it had received membership applications from some 100 new members in the Lagan Valley constituency area.

The former UUP MP and Assembly member for Lagan Valley, Jeffery Donaldson, announced he was joining the DUP along with two other former UUP MLAs, Norah Beare and Arlene Foster.

DUP Deputy Leader Peter Robinson attacked Mr Trimble over "DUP u-turn" comments made in reference to round-table talks as part of the review of the Good Friday Agreement that is due to start next week.

Mr Robinson said: "There is nothing inconsistent with this stated position for the DUP to attend a plenary at which there will be no negotiating taking place.

"Unlike Mr Trimble we will not be there to suck up to and placate Sinn Fein. Mr Trimble’s pathetic attempt to twist the facts will not have the impact he hopes of deflecting attention from the unending flow of defectors from his divided and dying party."

Next week sees the commencement of the review of the Good Friday Agreement, which will attempt to salvage the stalled Northern Ireland peace process.


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