Northern Ireland news

Former NI Tory chair 'saddened' as application to rejoin party is rejected

Belfast businessman Alan Dunlop has had his application to rejoin the NI Conservatives rejected. The former NI Tory chair quit his post last October.
Staff Reporter

A FORMER NI Conservatives chair who quit the party over "back-biting" and "personal attacks" has had his application to rejoin rejected.

Alan Dunlop resigned last October after five years as chair over a dispute on how the party was structured regionally, and also in opposition to Boris Johnson and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Following Mr Johnson's announcement that he was stepping down as Conservative leader and UK prime minister, Mr Dunlop submitted an application to rejoin the party.

The Belfast businessman said his application was initially accepted before members made a "u-turn".

"They basically wanted me to wear sackcloth and ashes and apologise for my statements about the shambolic state of the local party, comments I made after I’d resigned," he said.

Mr Dunlop added: "I am saddened by this decision. But having my application accepted, then withdrawn and now left in the too-difficult political in-tray, sums up the chaotic state of a political party that claims to be the natural party of government.

"I will now devote all my energies to efforts being made by others to safeguard the Union and, of course, pursue my own business interests."

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