Thursday, 4 October 2012

UKIP now has an MLA

In much the same way that UKIP managed to get short lived first representation in the House of Commons and also its three members in the House of Lords so it now has a Member of the Legislative Assembly sitting at Stormont.

David McNarry now of UKIP
Nigel Farage tweeted yesterday "Off to Stormont tomorrow and looking forward to welcoming David McNarry as UKIP's first MLA". So the former Ulster Unionist MLA would appear to set to become the first member of UKIP in any of the devolved Assemblies.

McNarry is a former UUP party whip and ran for the leadership in 2005 when Reg Empey won and he pooled poorly. He was removed as Vice Chair of the Assemblies Education Committee by then leader Tom Elliott, after going to the press about talks with the DUP. He was to have had the whip suspended for a period of nine months but when new leader Mike Nesbitt took over he did envision a return of the whip even after the period of suspension. So in a week when the whole debate about the UUP sleepwalking into unionist unity flares up again one of the earlier whistle blowers is making his own news.

Bizarrely his defection to UKIP comes in the one jurisdiction of the UK that has land boundaries with another European Union member that his new party wants out to step out of. The amount of cross border trade and employment especially in our border regions can only be harmed by a United Kingdom outside of the agreements of the European Union. Yet this is the party that David McNarry has chosen to cosy up to. Also if he has to the £ page as part of UKIPs campaign to safe the pound would have have to avoid any local shops that say €uros accepted here. Just think he couldn't buy a paper at Belfast Central or use all manner of stores.

Bob Spink the only Member of Parliament that UKIP had following his defection from the Conservatives in 2008 only stayed with the party less than five months (including the summer recess) so we wait and see if Mr McNarry lasts as long as a representative of UKIP here in Northern Ireland.

The people of Strangford now after the Iris Rosbinson scandals have a MLA who wants them out of Europe, the leader of the party he has defected from, an Alliance member who cannot bring himself to vote for marriage equality and three members of the DUP representing them.

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