The News came through yesterday evening that councillor Deirdre Nelson of Ballymena had defected from the DUP to the Conservative Party.
At the same time, it was announced that Councillor Harry Greenaway of Dungannon & South Tyrone has defected from the DUP to the UUP. Strangely, the Belfast Telegraph only reported Greenaway’s defection. There was no report about the defections in the Newsletter or the Irish News either. I am glad to say that at least the BBC has reported it.
Until now, the defections between the unionist parties that I recall were from the UUP to the DUP. In November 2003, Jeffrey Donaldson, Arlene Foster and Nora Beare defected from the UUP to the DUP. It is wonderful to see the first signs of that trend being reversed. Both of these defections are undoubtedly a blow for the DUP although they will be thankful that most of the unionist press is keeping quiet about it.
I do not yet know much about Deirdre Nelson. She has her own website and her profile is interesting to read. What pleases me most is her statement, reported on the BBC, that she wishes to move away from sectarian politics.
Deirdre is very welcome to our Party.