Nigel Farage rides two Unionist horses…

It was a bit of an embarrassment for the DUP, as their buddies in the Reform Party decided to form an alliance with their rival Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV).

But now Nigel Farage has told the Press Association he would throw his weight behind Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley.

From Gareth Gordon at the BBC:

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has said he will be personally endorsing two DUP candidates in the general election – despite his party’s alliance with the rival Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV).

He told the Press Association he would be throwing his weight behind Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley.

The TUV leader said he found out from the media.

Mr Paisley is the DUP candidate in North Antrim, where he will be challenged by TUV leader Jim Allister.

Mr Allister said his party entered an electoral arrangement with Reform UK “in good faith” and called Mr Farage’s move “disappointing”.

Mr Wilson is running in the East Antrim constituency, where the TUV candidate is Matthew Warwick.

The TUV announced an electoral alliance with Reform UK in March when Richard Tice was the party leader.

Mr Farage replaced him last week.

The TUV applied to run its candidates under a joint banner of “TUV/Reform UK” on ballot papers, but that was rejected by the Electoral Office so it is running under “TUV no sea border”.

Mr Allister said he was “surprised” to find out about Mr Farage’s endorsement “when the media reported it”.

But he said: “The endorsement that TUV seeks in this election is that of ordinary voters.

“The comments by Mr Farage today are, of course, disappointing and not compatible with the content of a conversation I had with him last week.”

Reform UK said they are “committed” to the alliance with the TUV.

In a statement, they said: “Candidates will be standing under our joint logo throughout Northern Ireland.

“Nigel Farage was giving a personal view in respect of two DUP candidates with whom he has worked closely in the past, but he has not changed the policy and does not intend to do so.”

Mr Farage said: “New leadership brings change.

“I wish the TUV well, but I’m gonna stand up to support Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley as people I fought with all through the Brexit years.”

Is anyone else wondering if the backing of these ‘characters’ is as much a negative as it is positive? Then again, I would be the first to admit that I am not part of the TUV demographic.


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