30/04/2002

Anti-agreement Ulster Unionist defects to DUP

The dissident unionist Peter Weir has formally joined the hard-line Democratic Unionist Party.

Mr Weir, who was elected to the assembly as an Ulster Unionist, was expelled from his party last year for refusing his support in assembly votes.

The announcement of Mr Weir’s defection was made on Monday April 29 during a DUP address to a group of Young Unionists from Queen’s University.

The 33-year-old former barrister also announced his intention to stand as a DUP candidate in the next Assembly elections and called on other anti-Agreement unionists to join him in Ian Paisley’s party.

Mr Weir has had a troubled and often conflicting relationship with the Ulster Unionist Party.

Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Mr Weir had worked with other dissidents within the UUP to reverse its policy of sharing government with Sinn Féin.

He was expelled from the UUP in November 2001 for failing to support, alongside another dissident party member Pauline Armitage, David Trimble's nomination to be re-elected as Northern Ireland first minister.

Both members were accused of conduct detrimental to the interests of Ulster Unionism by ignoring the direct advice of the party's ruling executive and failing to back their party leader as first minister. (AMcE)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

09 April 2019
Mortar Tube Discovery Foils Dissident Attack On Police
The PSNI has said the discovery of a mortar tube and command wire in Castlewellan yesterday has prevented an attack by dissident republicans. The items were discovered by a member of the public on the Drumnaquoile Road on Monday afternoon, 08 April. An extensive clearance operation was carried out.
03 January 2007
Former UUP MP dies aged 81
Former Ulster Unionist MP Cecil Walker has died today after suffering a heart attack. The MP for north Belfast between 1983 and 2001, Sir Cecil lost his seat to the DUP's Nigel Dodds. Ulster Unionist Party Leader Sir Reg Empey said: “I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Walker family at this sad time.
07 August 2001
UUP dismiss IICD report and peace blueprint
Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble’s response to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) report has been to again reiterate that the IRA must put its arms beyond use and must decommission its weapons.
01 June 2018
Significant Amount Of Drugs Seized In Mid Ulster
A significant amount of Class A drugs have been seized in Mid Ulster. The seizure was made following the death of a man in his thirties in the Moneymore area on Sunday, 27 May. Police recovered the drugs, believed to be cocaine, during searches at a number of properties in the area.
01 May 2018
McFarland Named New Head Coach Of Ulster
Dan McFarland has been named the new head coach of Ulster on a three-year contract. He will remain as Scotland's assistant coach for nine months and will leave before next year's Six Nations. Mr McFarland said: "I am really excited that I will be taking on the Ulster Head Coach role.