DUP MLA Gregory Campbell has hit out at those critical at the future of Unionism.
He said that for many years the country has been concerned about which party will contest the issues best for Unionism, and he stressed care needed to be taken when it happens at the expense of greater unionist co-operation.
“It’s hard to believe that a form of Inter Unionist co-operation operated before and during the last Westminster election when candidates were agreed to get more Pro Union MPs elected,” he said.
“This worked as there are now 11 Unionist MPs when previously there were nine. But, a few months later Unionists are portraying that unionism is divided again. It is concerning for councillors working within communities that some people wish to portray the future of this country as being bleak.
“There is no blank page to start from, no promised land waiting to be discovered. Hard work, commitment and refusal to allow Irish Republicanism to prevail will win.”
“The question for those seeking division, as well as those of us who want to work with all sections of the pro-union community, is not what any of us think of current governmental arrangements, but how we can work to make them better.
“A good example of this is Londonderry and Strabane Council where the Unionist bloc has to sit not only with SF, who have links to the IRA but also with some independents, when at least one of them has repeatedly attempted to ‘justify’ dissident republicans.
“We do this to represent the interests of our people, and we make no apology for doing so,” he said.