25/04/2019

DUP Accused Of 'Frightening Propaganda' With Election Leaflet

A UUP Councillor has said a DUP leaflet circulating in the Balmoral area of Belfast is an attempt to frighten voters with crude propaganda.

Ulster Unionist Councillor for the area Jeffrey Dudgeon said the pamphlet from a local DUP candidate, David Graham, "makes clear that the DUP will stoop to any tactic to win votes", after it claimed the party is the only one "that will defend the Union in City Hall".

Councillor Dudgeon branded the claim a "disgraceful slur against all other unionist parties". He added: "Comparing a council election under proportional representation with a first-past-the-post Westminster election is simply nonsense and takes the Balmoral electors for fools.

"At present there are two unionist council seats in Balmoral. One of the two is currently held by the DUP and the other by me for the Ulster Unionist Party. It is that seat which Mr Graham is patently trying to seize by frightening voters with silly assertions. Those two seats are not in jeopardy. Saying 'Only the DUP can win Balmoral for Unionism' is a complete nonsense.
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"The figures which he uses in his leaflet for the last Belfast council election result are deceptive. He says 26 Nationalists and 24 Unionists were elected to City Hall in 2014 but in this scare tactic fails to mention the 10 other councillors. They are 8 Alliance, 1 Green and 1 Independent.

"I really would have expected better from the South Belfast MP, who as Mr Graham's agent has put her name to this leaflet. Sadly, we are not two seats away from regaining a unionist majority, as he suggests."

Councillor Dudgeon added that the DUP's actions have led to a unionist minority in Belfast City Hall: "It was the DUP-backed council boundary changes which ensured a nationalist/Alliance majority in City Hall, by inexplicably incorporating the Dundonald area into the Lisburn and Castlereagh Council area instead of Belfast.

"The DUP have led unionism into a cul-de-sac. If people fall for the DUP's deceptions they will lead to the further weakening of unionism in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The self-interest of the DUP created a unionist minority at Belfast City Hall and Stormont and they seem intent on continuing that trend to the detriment of unionism."



(JG/MH)

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