Earlier today, UKIP Northern Ireland Councillors, local area representatives and party officials met with the UKIP Leader in Northern Ireland David McNarry MLA at Stormont Parliament Buildings.
A number of items were on the agenda and the message was clear in the meeting:
‘We remain opposed to mandatory coalition and believe that the structures at Stormont require reform. UKIP in Northern Ireland remains fully committed to opposition. We will never enter the Northern Ireland Executive after any election. We will continue to provide a strong and effective opposing voice in the chamber as we have done for a number of years.’
All of those in attendance at the meeting were clear:
‘UKIP will continue to scrutinise the Northern Ireland Executive and hold Government Minister’s and their Departments to account on the issues that matter to people. Our councillors, local area representatives and our MLA will continue to scrutinise the work of the Assembly and local councils. Whilst the UUP’s Danny Kennedy was doing an atrocious job on a daily basis, making a mess of our roads and transport service; it was UKIP that was the party holding the former Minister Kennedy and his officials to account in committee; highlighting the follies within that department and bringing to light the many issues of concern to ordinary people throughout Northern Ireland.
We do not know what crisis the shambolic Executive parties will stumble towards next, but UKIP would seek to remind people of some of the potential results associated with any period of direct rule:
Along with direct rule, there would be the potential for an introduction of water charges, the removal of bus passes and the end of free prescriptions. These are serious issues of concern to us.’
At the meeting, which was also attended by Senior UKIP Official David Soutter, there was unanimity amongst those in attendance that only UKIP is capable of providing a true alternative voice of opposition.
‘We are a party that believes in change and fights for change. We are the party that said NO to the EU and fought for an EU Referendum. There will now be an EU Referendum.
We do not have the historical baggage and the catalogue of consistent failure that plagues the parties of old here in Northern Ireland. We are growing daily, we were the best performing non-executive party in the May Westminster elections in terms of votes, and we are the alternative voice in Northern Ireland Politics.
The notion of being a party of opposition might well be a new pre-election strategy for some parties, but UKIP has always been and will continue to be THE true voice of opposition, standing up for ordinary hard working people by providing an alternative to the parties of old.’