UUP’s deputy leader rules out any pact with the DUP in the next Westminster election

Robbie Butler, the deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, said that his party will look at co-operation, but there will be no pact.

The deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party has ruled out any pact with the Democratic Unionist Party in the upcoming Westminster election, expected to be held in 2024.

On the BBC’s Nolan Show today, he said: “No, pacts were not on the table”.

When he was asked if he was ruling out pacts with the DUP, he responded: “Yes, absolutely, there will be no pacts”.

This follows a meeting that was held last week between the leaders and deputy leaders of the DUP and the UUP.

Mr Butler continued: “It’s about finding political cooperation for the here and now”

“The UUP is in the business of maximising the seats that we can take, whether that is in council – that wasn’t kind to us last time – or whether it’s in Stormont or particularly in Westminster”

“Politics is about maximising and having confidence in your own voice, we have a serious vision for Northern Ireland, and that will include maximising representation at Westminster.”

When Stephen Nolan asked the MLA what the unionist cooperation was if it wasn’t pacts, Mr Butler said: “Well obviously we don’t have Stormont up and running so that forms the bigger part of the conversation, and it has been the bigger part of the conversation, but there are ongoing issues that affect the health and wellbeing of people in Northern Ireland at the moment, without going into detail, it was a wide local context”.

The MLA for Lagan Valley said that the primary point of discussion in the meeting was the Windsor Framework and that the UUP have not seen the 18-page document that the DUP have produced and sent to the UK government.

The Ulster Unionist Party currently have nobody elected to Westminster and have had no MPs since they lost both of their constituencies in the 2017 General Election.

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