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.

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.
19 January 2012
UUP Respond To Call For 'United-Unionism'
The Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party has spoken about proposals for a single unionist party in Northern Ireland saying that it will not necessarily increase unionism political power.
10 October 2003
Rebel MP's set to retake whip
The Ulster Unionist Party's three rebel MP's are set to retake the party whip next week. Jeffrey Donaldson, David Burnside and the Rev Martin Smyth are said to have discussed the matter privately at a special meeting.
09 December 2002
Trimble fends off Tory ambition speculation
Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble has rebuffed suggestions that he is eyeing up the leadership of the Conservative Party and spoken of his desire to see closer links between the Tories and his party.