The DUP have decided to hold back from direct engagement with loyalist paramilitaries opting to keep working with Loyalist Commission chair, Reverend Mervyn Gibson.It would appear the difficulty of direct engagement with Loyalists could not be squared with refusing to directly engage with republicans with the party insider restating the position that the party:
“…has no wish to legitimise anyone engaged in terror and criminality.”
Even though the most concerted attempts to transform Loyalist paramilitaries seem to be underway the DUP remains sceptical:
“If we thought that by talking to these loyalist groups, we could be of use in getting them to wind up, then that would be something for us to grapple with. However, the DUP is not convinced we are at that point…”
Perhaps they are wary considering the UUP’s years of engagement with mixed results.