Ulster Unionists consider Alliance with Tories
The Ulster Unionist party of Northern Ireland, the protestant block which has historically fought to keep the territory as part of the UK, is reportedly considering an alliance with the Conservative party.
The Ulster Unionist party unanimously endorsed an alliance with the Conservatives last night.
The UUP's ruling executive committee backed the proposed pact at a meeting in Belfast. It paves the way for the Tories and the UUP to field joint candidates in elections in Northern Ireland, including in the European elections next summer.
David Cameron will address the UUP's annual conference in Belfast next month.
The UUP said a joint committee would be established to map out how the alliance will work.
Most of the party's leading figures, including its leader, Sir Reg Empey, have been enthusiastic about working with the Tories, but a number of veteran Ulster Unionists are not happy. Chris McGimpsey, the former UUP honorary secretary and a Belfast city councillor for nearly 20 years, warned he would walk away from the party if it entered into a formal alliance with the Tories.