Northern Ireland news

UDA linked group call on loyalists to vote for the DUP

Loyalist leader Jackie McDonald called on loyalists to vote for the DUP in Belfast.

The UDA linked Loyalist magazine has urged unionists to vote for the DUP in north and south Belfast to ensure "no abstentionist MPs are elected nor their cohorts in the SDLP".

The monthly magazine published by the south Belfast Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) has called on unionists to maximise their vote to combat Remain pacts across the city.

They have also called for unionists to vote for the UUP's Tom Elliot in Fermanagh South Tyrone, who is running against the Sinn Féin incumbent Michelle GIldernew.

"In North Belfast we would ask for a vote to be cast for Nigel Dodds of the DUP, in Fermanagh/South Tyrone for the UUP candidate Tom Elliott, East Belfast for the sitting MP Gavin Robinson as he faces his biggest challenge which is against the Alliance Party who are not Unionists and do not deserve a vote.

"Likewise, in South Belfast we would ask that support be gave for the strongest Unionist candidate who, in our opinion, is the sitting MP Emma Little Pengelly of the DUP.

Also writing in the magazine loyalist leader Jackie McDonald said there was a "disconnect between unionism and loyalism".

"Small numbers of criminals and drug dealers masquerading as loyalists is making it almost impossible for unionist politicians to be seen associating with prominent loyalists", he said.

"Social media is also seen as potential threat in the weeks and months ahead as fake news and false prophets could be mischievous, we all need to be wary".

Acknowledging loyalists' fear of a sea border should Boris Johnson's Brexit deal be pushed through parliament, the loyalist leader said: "Some are calling it the betrayal act; they are rallying the troops in Belfast and further afield and being addressed by politicians in some of these meetings and wannabe loyalist leaders in others".

"Banners, posters and flags are on lampposts and walls, social media is ablaze and yet what can we really say here and now about it except to stay calm, think for yourself and let the election happen before we jump in and get people riled up", he said.

"Yes, we face another election on December 12, an election for Westminster and one which is so crucial to our very existence that we must go and vote and do all we can to maximize the Unionist representation.

"Remain or Leave, regardless of how you voted in the June 16 referendum you must make sure you are registered and get out to the polling station", he added.

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