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A New Party for Northern Ireland

Tuesday, January 31 2012

Andrew Feldman

Conservative Party co-Chairman Andrew Feldman has today confirmed that the Conservative Party will establish a new political party to deliver mainstream, national politics for the people of Northern Ireland.

Plans approved yesterday by the Party Board set out how the new "Conservative and Unionist Party of Northern Ireland" will be given significant powers and autonomy within the UK Conservative Party.

The plans include:

  • A seat on the main Board of the Conservative Party for the new Conservative and Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, initially as an observer and evolving to full membership as the new Party grows.
  • A new Party Board within Northern Ireland, with its own Chairman, Officers and set of rules, which will be responsible for overseeing the new Party on the ground.
  • Once the new Party has been established, it will have the power to appoint an interim Leader who will help establish the new Party in Northern Ireland ahead of the first Leadership elections over the coming year.

Commenting on the decision, Lord Feldman said he hoped that the new party would be able to put Northern Ireland back at the centre of national politics.

He said: "For too long politics in Northern Ireland have been built around sectarianism and division. We want to move past the politics of the peace process to a more normal state of affairs where everyone in Northern Ireland has the opportunity to vote for a modern, centre-right, pro-Union party.

"This new political party won’t be encumbered by the conflict and divisions of Northern Ireland's past. We want to reach out to everybody in Northern Ireland, regardless of their background."

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