Party accused of abandoning Unionist cause

Ulster Unionism has drifted from its core principals by trying to strike a deal with the Alliance Party, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson claimed today.

Ulster Unionism has drifted from its core principals by trying to strike a deal with the Alliance Party, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson claimed today.

Mr Robinson accused the UUP of abandoning the unionist cause following talks between David Trimble and Alliance leader Sean Neeson aimed at strengthening pro-Agreement chances in the General Election.

He said: ‘‘It does indicate the movement within the Ulster Unionists that the Ulster Unionists Party now feels more at home in trying to put up a deal with a non-unionist party than trying to sit down with fellow unionists.’’

As the DUP unveiled its latest billboard poster lampooning Mr Trimble in Belfast city centre, Mr Robinson also took a swipe at the UUP over allegations of a smear campaign against IRA bomb victim Jim Dixon.

Mr Dixon today re-entered the battle for Fermanagh and South Tyrone having initially stepped down amid claims that he was the victim of a character assassination campaign.

Mr Robinson declared: ‘‘I find it repugnant the lies that are coming out of Glengall Street.’’

The DUP poster depicts Mr Trimble with a Pinocchio-style nose and wearing a green shamrock tie along with a Republican lapel below the slogan: ‘‘Trust him again? Don’t be misled by David Trimble this time.’’

Launching an attack on election pledges Mr Trimble is due to unveil today, DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley said: ‘‘The Ulster Unionists Party manifesto is a sham.’’

He added: ‘‘It’s just another rash of promises which will not be kept, just another parading of assurances that are worthless.’’

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