Party Officer and Councillor, Peter Bowles, is to quit the Ulster Unionists anddefect to the Conservative Party because of the UUP/PUP’s new partnership. Peter Bowles had been a key supporter of Reg Empey’s leadership bid and seen as one of the upcoming talents of the party. His defection, to be announced tomorrow, gives the Conservatives their only elected representative and leaves the UUP with big problems. Their only MP has already faced calls to reisgn and Peter Bowles’s decision will add to the pressure. Peter Bowles said:
“The Ulster Unionists used to be the party of law and order and now its linked the UVF. Those guys haven’t changed at all…the party has lost its way. There is a lack of direction, a lack of vision and a lack of consultation.”Meanwhile, the Sunday Life and Sunday World are both claiming that a UVF gang were responsible for an assault on Robert McCord, Raymond McCord Snr cousin. Robert McCord says his attackers asked where his cousin was living and when he said he didn’t know they began the beating.