Tom Elliott and the UUP need to grow up

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So it seems that we are not going to see the leader of the Ulster Unionists in next year’s Belfast Pride march. As reported by Pink News, Tom Elliott MLA recently said that

I have indicated at party meetings that whilst some members of our party would go to gay pride marches or GAA matches, I wouldn’t go.

Personally, I am not surprised at the UUP’s decision to vote in Mr Elliott as party leader. Basil McCrea his opponent has been very good at attending Belfast Pride in recent years, particularly with his colleague John McCallister.

It is clear that the members of the Ulster Unionist Council want to try and position their party a lot further to the right than that of a party that seemed to be acknowledging its LGBT support and constituents.

The times have changed – but no one seems to have listened or watched in the UUP. It is time for real politics in Northern Ireland. We have moved away from the dead politics where if it looked like a member of the UUP it got elected. This year not one of their candidates was elected. Not even the previous party leader, Sir Reg Empey (even after he was parachuted into South Antrim).

The team up with the Conservatives seemed to be a complete flop. Is Mr Elliott’s election as party leader just another nail in the coffin of the UUP. With comments like he has made, it would seem so.

Alternatively, he and they need to grow up and realise that they have to represent their constituents, speak to them, maybe even go to places that they don’t find comfortable to do so.

Speaking in the Waterfront Hall, Tom Elliott last night said

The Ulster Unionist Party has a tradition of honest, hard working politics putting the interests of Northern Ireland first.

My challenge to him, is when will we see them starting to ensure that they work for the interests of all the people including those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans, to say nothing of those who support Gaelic games.

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