A new libertarian political party advocating “small government and low taxes” is due to launch in the coming weeks.
NI People’s Party is the brainchild of, among others, west Belfast man Tony Mallon, who has previously contested two elections as an independent.
The charity worker said the party, which currently has around a dozen members, welcomes “those from the centre-left to the centre-right” and has no fixed policy on the constitutional question.
It is currently in the process of registering with the Electoral Commission ahead of its official launch, when the party plans to open an office in Belfast city centre.
Mr Mallon, who stressed he is leader in name-only in order to comply with Electoral Commission requirements, said the party did not operate a whip system.
Among the NI People’s Party’s key policies include a self-sustaining agriculture sector, free trade and what it terms “jobs and opportunities for indigenous peoples”.
Mr Mallon, who in previous press coverage has been described as a “anti-woke warrior”, said the party supports a points system for immigration.
He said his party advocated allowing “qualified doctors and nurses” to live in Northern Ireland.
“What we don’t support is economic migrants coming here without passports and getting free housing,” he said.
Other policies include the promotion “preventive care, natural healing and not long term pharmaceutical dependence” and the right of each person to “have freedom of speech and expression”.
Mr Mallon, who received 129 votes in West Belfast when he contested the 2022 assembly election as an independent and 166 votes when he stood in the Collin DEA of Belfast in last year’s council elections, said he supported the dissolution of the Parades Commission.
“If you believe in free speech then you should recognise people’s right to free expression – government should stay out of it,” he said.
The 40-year-old, who described himself as an “NI nationalist”, said the party welcomed people those who supported both the constitutional status quo and a united Ireland.
“Alliance don’t have a firm constitutional stance and they have flourished in recent years, so I don’t think it’s necessary to be explicit one way or the other,” he said.