A former North Antrim Assembly Candidate is the latest Ulster Unionist to defect to the DUP.
Andrew Wright’s move comes in the wake of similar defections by Cllr. Aaron Callan and Cllr. Graham Craig.
And he lays the blame for his switch at the door of party leader Mike Nesbitt who he accuses of jumping on ‘politically correct issues.’
He said: “Until Saturday I was the North Antrim Association Secretary and the 2016 North Antrim Assembly Candidate for the Ulster Unionist Party.
“I joined the UUP in 2010 as I felt it was the traditional party of Unionism, reflecting the traditional Christian values of the North Antrim voters.
“However at the 2016 UUP conference Mike Nesbitt set out his vision to lead the party on a journey towards a progressive, liberal destination that I, along with the majority of Unionist voters, as proved at the last election, are not comfortable with.
“I fear that the UUP, when it reaches this destination will find that its company is Sinn Fein, the SDLP, Alliance, the Green party and People before Profit. I see within the aforementioned parties an erosion of the Christian values and principles which have formed the bedrock of our society for centuries, creating the peace, order and prosperity which has characterised Western democracy.”
Mr. Wright said his personal faith had also played a large part in his decision.
“A leader should guide the people along a path that will ensure the safety and stability of our nation rather than being led by the latest politically correct issue. Mike Nesbit states that those of us who believe in the traditional definition of marriage are on the wrong side of history, however as a Christian my beliefs have the support of literally thousands of years of history, compared to less than a decade supporting his views on gay marriage.
“As a Christian I believe in the human right of every child to life from conception, whether born or unborn. Many of those who talk so much of human rights and equality are the first to deny the right to life of the most defenceless and vulnerable in society, namely the unborn child.
“To be clear, abortion at any stage, of any kind, is no more nor less than murder. Society is commendably active in its defence of the disabled, sick and vulnerable.
“As a Christian I am commanded to protect the weak and vulnerable and I can think of no more weak or vulnerable than an unborn child who has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition. While recognising the emotional and distressing nature of these cases the fact remains that murdering the child is never the answer.
“In the past the UUP was renowned as the moderate voice of traditional Unionism. However this role has been relinquished to a revitalised DUP under the leadership of Arlene Foster. In Arlene I see a true leader of Unionism, one who not only can unite Unionism, but who also takes a stand for traditional Christian values. Therefore today, in light of the above, I have joined the DUP and will continue to promote our Unionist and Christian identity.’
Arlene Foster MLA said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome Andrew on board with the DUP. Having met Andrew recently, he has a clear understanding of the issues facing local people across North Antrim. I look forward to working with Andrew in the years ahead and I wish him well during his time in the DUP.”