General Election

Four Tory candidates 'demonstrates party commitment to Northern Ireland'

Tory chairman James Cleverly (right) and Secretary of State Julian Smith at the NI Conservatives' manifesto launch. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

THE Tories' commitment to Northern Ireland is "guaranteed" by the fact they are running Westminster candidates in the region, Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly has said.

Speaking as the regional arm of the Conservatives launched their manifesto yesterday, Mr Cleverly said if the party got a "stable working majority" in next month's general election they would deliver Boris Johnson's Brexit deal and leave the EU by the end of January.

"We will refocus parliament and we will refocus government on delivering on the international investment that is waiting to come into the UK," he said.

"We will invest in the National Health Service, we will invest in education, we will invest in policing and business... and we will do it for every single corner of the United Kingdom."

He ruled out revisiting elements of the deal which have sparked opposition from unionists, most notably the proposed customs 'sea border' between Britain and the north.

The party is running in four of the north's 18 constituencies.

Mr Cleverly said running candidates across the UK was the party's "hallmark of commitment" to the union.

Pledges in the NI Conservatives' manifesto include standing for a "modern unionism", getting Stormont back to work, backing the Brexit deal and modernising the Northern Ireland economy.

Addressing the event, Strangford candidate Grant Abraham said he was aware of the frustration and sense of disenfranchisement caused by a "dormant Stormont".

"We feel exactly the same way and this is why we are here today, so we can build a new way forward for all of the people of Northern Ireland," he said.

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General Election