Here is a headline in today’s ‘Belfast telegraph’.
It must fill the membership of the DUP with great confidence in their ‘leader’, Sir Jeffrey. It is obvious that through thick and thin he is a committed DUP man and will stand by his members!!!
Note the denial and then the ‘implicit’ admission! As the old Hollywood Indian reportedly said: ‘Him talk with forked tongue’!!
Ulster, on every side, is in the hands of wicked deceivers!
“And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon,” Judges 10:7.
February 23 2022 11:04 PM
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson was in discussions to quit the party after he failed to get the leadership last year, it was reported.
When that claim was put to the DUP leader on Wednesday, he initially denied to the BBC that he had ever had “any intention or plans to re-join the Ulster Unionist Party”.
However, in a later statement Sir Jeffrey implicitly admitted that he had engaged in talks with the UUP but said that they were “focused on the future of unionism”.
The dramatic claims, which emerged on the Nolan Show on Wednesday night, are unwelcome news for a party already facing acute internal tensions.
In a statement posted on Twitter ahead of the revelation, Sir Jeffrey pre-empted the broadcast, saying that the BBC had asked him if he’d had discussions about leaving the DUP and re-joining the UUP.
He did not deny some discussion, but said: “This portrayal is nonsense. I never had any such intentions or plans.”
He said it was made clear he would be welcome in the UUP but had declined and “any discussions I have had with the UUP were focused on the future of unionism”.
The news will unsettle some DUP members, particularly those who questioned whether as a former Ulster Unionist Sir Jeffrey really shares the outlook of traditional DUP members who pre-date him in the party.
Sir Jeffrey’s situation has echoes of how Arlene Foster – who joined the DUP on the same day as Sir Jeffrey – made clear within days of losing the leadership that she would be walking away from the party.
After initially losing to Edwin Poots for the leadership, Sir Jeffrey had walked out of the hotel where Mr Poots was being ratified.
At the time, Mr Beattie had made a public offer to Sir Jeffrey to talk to him about moving parties.
He said at the time: “I really like Jeffrey, I think he has got an awful lot to offer.
“If Jeffrey were to come to me – and we are friends, and he knows he can have a conversation with me anytime, and we do regularly – but if Jeffrey comes to me we can talk about things.”