Reform UK Leader Nigel Farage Endorses DUP Candidates

The DUP has welcomed the officially backing of two MP candidates by newly appointed leader of Reform UK, Nigel Farage.

In March of this year, Reform UK, under the leadership of Richard Tice, had announced an electoral alliance with DUP rival, the TUV. The TUV had gone so far as to apply to run its election candidates under a 'TUV/Reform' banner, however this was rejected by the Electoral Office.

Nigel Farage, a leader figures in right-wing UK politics for many years, replaced Richard Tice as leader of Reform UK last week. Despite his new party's official endorsement of the TUV, Mr Farage has now given his personal endorsement to the DUP's Ian Paisley Jnr and Sammy Wilson.

It is understood that Jim Alister, leader of the TUV, learned of endorsement via media reports, despite having met personally with Mr Farage in the last week. Mr Alister is reported to have described the news as "disappointing".
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According to reports, a statement from Reform UK said that the party will continue with its official backing of the TUV, with their candidates standing "under our joint logo throughout Northern Ireland". Reform UK has claimed that Mr Farage's endorsement of Ian Paisley and Sammy wilson was "a personal view" and not a "change of policy".

Welcoming Mr Farage's endorsement of him and his East Antrim colleague, Sammy Wilson, North Antrim candidate, Ian Paisley said: “Nigel Farage is a household name and we welcome his endorsement as the best pro-union candidate in our constituencies. Nigel knows us and knows our record of delivering for the people.

"This is a very embarrassing for Jim Allister as the Reform UK Leader has endorsed us rather than him because the Reform UK Leader recognised that on the big issues we could be relied upon.

"Some people know how to build relationships and deliver results, others just talk about the problems.

"The Electoral Commission has ruled that the 'TUV-Reform UK' description is misleading. With the Reform UK Leader now backing me, its clear the TUV-Reform UK relationship is non-existent.

"In light of this development, it is time that TUV stopped trying to fool the voters by using Reform UK branding and logos when it is clear that the Leader of Reform UK is not supporting TUV.

"Its time for TUV to drop the Reform UK branding."

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