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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Unionist opposition 'will emerge'
Jim Allister
Jim Allister said he had not decided if he would lead a new movement
Unionists opposed to power-sharing between the DUP and Sinn Fein will form a new political opposition, independent MEP Jim Allister has predicted.

Mr Allister quit the DUP in May after party leader Ian Paisley agreed with Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams to form a new power-sharing government.

He told the BBC's Inside Politics many grassroots unionists believe the DUP and UUP do not represent their views.

He said he had not yet decided if he would lead such a new unionist group.

"I am certainly aware that there is a hunger among disillusioned DUP voters and other voters who have been in touch with me, for a political vehicle to articulate their viewpoint," he said.

"I believe that, in time, such a structure will emerge because without it, traditional unionism has no voice now that both unionist parties have bought into the architecture and structures of the Belfast Agreement."

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness have been getting along well
Mr Allister resigned from the DUP because he believed "the lure of office has clouded the party's judgment" as Sinn Fein was "not fit for government".

He did not resign his seat as a member of the European Parliament.

It was the second time he had quit the DUP fold, having left active politics in the 1980s after disagreeing with his leader's tactics over the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

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