The Conservative Party Co-Chairman, Lord Feldman of Elstree, has confirmed plans to "create a new political party in Northern Ireland" which will deliver mainstream, national politics to the people of Northern Ireland.
In an article for the Belfast Telegraph Lord Feldman set out the background for this new political party following recent discussions with the Ulster Unionists.
He said that his recent offer of a merger with the UUP "was warm, generous, and sincerely made", and that the new party would have provided the people of Northern Ireland with a modern, centre-right, pro-Union party.
However, following the decision by the Ulster Unionists to reject this invitation, the Prime Minister has asked Lord Feldman to continue to move forward with plans for a new political force in Northern Ireland.
This new Party will help to put Northern Ireland back at the centre of national politics. It will mean that the politics of Northern Ireland can move beyond the peace process to a more normal state of affairs in which everyone can play their part in UK politics.
The Northern Ireland Conservatives will now be reconstituted as a new local party, which will work between now and the next elections for the people of Northern Ireland, leading campaigns on local issues, highlighting where the Executive is failing to deliver and putting across positive Conservative alternatives.
You can read the full text of Lord Feldman's article here. http://www.conservatives.com/News/Articles/2012/01/Andrew_Feldman_Our_message_to_Northern_Ireland.aspx