It was noticeable, the cordial relationship between the DUP MPs and the sole remaining Ulster Unionist MP at Westminster on Monday night. They were singing off the same sheet in supporting the transfer of policing and justice powers from London to Stormont... Sitting close to Peter Robinson, Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley, her determination was clear. My DUP sources say the working relationship with Lady Hermon has developed closely. There would be no problem in supporting and helping her campaign. All will be revealed shortly.
While I doubt the good Lady is on the verge of flinging off a membership application form to DUP HQ, I nevertheless cannot see how anyone with close relations to Paisley, Robinson and Donaldson and who would be willing to accept the assistance of the Democratic Unionists in their election campaign could in any manner be considered Labour material. I also have a feeling that, even if it had have been possible to do so, Lady Hermon would not have taken up the offer of standing for the party in North Down. That is not the point though. Northern Irish socialists and social democrats have been voiceless for decades. The existence of the Labour Party in the province today gives us at least a glimmer of hope that that anomaly may finally be brought to an end. Now is not the time to attempt to take shortcuts by recruiting any unionist or nationalist MP, MLA or councillor that feels disgruntled with their party's leadership. That said, if an elected representative from the unionist or nationalist community has become disillusioned with their brand of politics and wants to embrace democratic socialism then they are by all means welcome to join our camp. I see no evidence that Lady Sylvia Hermon has made such a conversion.