UKIP Leader in Northern Ireland, David McNarry MLA has today hit back at comments made by Lord Empey. Mr McNarry has also released text from the Alex Kane interview.
Mr McNarry said:
“It is disingenuous of Reg Empey of all people to be selective in distorting the context of comments made by me in an interview with Alex Kane. Poor Reg! It is a truly sad show when he is trotted out as a Warrior Chief to attack UKIP. A clear sign of just how worried the UUP are about UKIP’s popularity and political advances.
His spurious condition of fighting for the Union rings hollow when soon all will be revealed from the talks, showing more concessions to Republicans by unionists at the talks table. I have no doubt that Reg will host Cameron upon arrival, and assist him with a UUP Rollover.
Lord Empey takes the Tory Whip at Westminster. So the question must be asked: Who exactly is his Leader and where do his loyalties lie- with Cameron in London or Nesbitt in Belfast?
UKIP is the only unionist party that has elected political representation in every corner of this United Kingdom. UKIP defends the Union and Britishness! We take no lectures; particularly from a party selling out at the talks.”
For the record, here is a transcript from the interview, which Alex Kane can verify!
DM: “We made a mistake in Northern Ireland twice. It was a bad mistake. When Trimble had the success here, we didn’t ask for a peace dividend. We didn’t get any money. When Paisley came on to the scene, he made the same mistake: Didn’t ask for money. We should’ve had at least £500m into our kitty, as the price we wanted to extract for the peace process for everybody to be put into government here. And that’s why we’re struggling, and we’ve struggled ever since in terms of cash; hard cash. That’s a business attitude to things, because that’s what we missed out. We shouldn’t have done it, and we made that mistake. We need in Northern Ireland, to have an opposition. We actually need to have an opposition that will hit hard at those who want to govern. We’re not going to be big enough to be bought, to go in like the Alliance who ended up with two ministers; which is beyond me. UKIP will present that solid base for an opposition. Anybody else wants to join it, fine. If it’s to be an opposition and anybody else wants to join it, then we’d have to join it on a consensus.”
DM: “I understand the debt that we have as a UK government, I understand how far that debt can go, and we haven’t stretched it. And what we’re not getting in Northern Ireland, and that’s why I said earlier on about how we didn’t get a peace dividend, we haven’t asked the Irish government to pay a penny. And it’s about time we did. It’s about time we visited that table, on hard cash and said: “You’re up here at these talks, you’re a co-sponsor of the peace process allegedly, you’re also a co-sponsor of the Belfast Agreement, the St Andrews, any agreement, you’re in on it. You haven’t paid a penny. You pay a penny, then you have more of a right to be in here. And I think we should be asking them to pay their contribution to the peace dividend here. Money, I don’t think is an object. What we need to do is drill down priorities. And this Executive has lost its way. Working out programmes for government, working this out, working that out. We can’t say to people that we’re going to spend money on tomfoolery ideas and allow people to be put on lengthy waiting lists in hospitals. We just can’t do it. And we need to work that out. I know Northern Ireland people, I think, as well as anybody because I love them. Tell them what the score is, and they’ll adapt. That’s what I think, a bit of old-fashioned honesty.”
“I think it is Lord Empey who should withdraw and apologise.”