DUP leader urges against ‘voting for smaller parties you know can’t win’

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024

BELFAST: DUP leader Gavin Robinson urged against voting for smaller parties “who can’t win” as he launched his party’s manifesto.

Mr Robinson said his party is “campaigning for every vote” in the General Election which will see some close races across Northern Ireland’s 18 constituencies. He said that voting for smaller parties “risks helping to elect MPs who will take us in the wrong direction and who don’t believe in Northern Ireland”.

In recent history the DUP developed a strong working relationship with the Conservative government, brokering a confidence and supply deal in 2017.However, Mr Robinson dismissed speculation his party may have less influence in the event of a Labour government. “We work with every government. We have worked and we will continue to work in the best interests of Northern Ireland,” he said.

“There are many who sometimes casually suggest that Labour is in some way pro-Irish nationalism… that is not true of this Labour Party today that is standing across Great Britain on a pro-union ticket.

“The messages that you’ve heard from Hilary Benn as shadow secretary of state and Keir Starmer himself, who knows Northern Ireland, is not to upset the delicate balance that we have.

“I don’t have any strong concerns on that, but the DUP will love many, trust few, and always paddle our own canoe.” The almost 50-page manifesto, titled Speaking Up For Northern Ireland, was launched at the Harland and Wolff Welders Football Club in the East Belfast constituency, where Mr Robinson is a candidate.

The DUP is running 16 candidates for 18 available seats on the green benches in this General Election. They returned eight MPs at the last election in 2019.Mr Robinson said he wants his party to send “the strongest team to Westminster”.

“As we enter the closing stages of this election we are campaigning for every vote and seeking a mandate to send the strongest team to Westminster,” he said.“On the 4th of July the choice you make will matter.

“If you want a stronger, more prosperous Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, then you need to vote for it. “If you want a strong pro-union team who will fight for Northern Ireland then you need to vote for it by backing the people who believe in Northern Ireland and who will do the job you elect them to do.

“By sitting at home or voting for smaller parties you know can’t win, you risk helping to elect MPs who will take us in the wrong direction and who don’t believe in Northern Ireland.”