Northern Ireland

Jamie Bryson isn’t a unionist, says UUP leader Doug Beattie

Jamie Bryson, the club's former manager, legally assisted Mr Robinson
Jamie Bryson

Jamie Bryson isn’t a unionist but an “Ulster nationalist”, according to Doug Beattie.

The Ulster Unionist leader and loyalist clashed on X – formerly Twitter – in the latest in a series of altercations between the pair over the post-Brexit trade arrangements.

The spat happened after UUP deputy leader Robbie Butler accused elements within the DUP of “ruining” any chance of the party agreeing to return to the Stormont Executive.

UUP leader Doug Beattie speaks to the media (Liam McBurney/PA)
UUP leader Doug Beattie said Jamie Bryson wasn't a unionist. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA

When asked by the BBC if Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s party was softening its approach in anticipation of a potential deal and financial package, the Lagan Valley MLA said: “In my opinion significant work has been done and they probably are at the final points, but I do believe there are those who are intent, and you see it on a daily basis, on ruining any chance of their own party getting back into power.”

“I think it is abysmal to watch and does wider unionism harm.”

The item in the Belfast Telegraph was headlined: “PM urges DUP and NI parties to work ‘day and night’ to restore Stormont.”

Read more: Donaldson says he will not ‘bow to threats’ amid warning of loyalist protests

Jamie Bryson responds to ‘rather tiresome’ questions on relationship with Stephen Nolan

On X, one-time National Union of Journalists member Mr Bryson, proposed an alternative headline that read: ‘UUP slam unionists who refuse to implement the subjugation of the union- surrender now cries Butler’

Not for the first time, the loyalist activist’s remark riled Mr Beattie, a decorated British Army veteran.

“Bryson is not a unionist - he is an Ulster nationalist,” the Ulster Unionist leader responded.

He said Mr Bryson: “Doesn’t want devolved government. Doesn’t respect our sovereign parliaments decisions. Doesn’t support alternative unionist positions.

“Happy for Northern Ireland to float alone. That is not unionism.”