Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Saturday, 8 March 2008

Empey rejects Robinson overtures

Sir Reg Empey
Sir Reg Empey dismissed DUP overtures as a stunt

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has rejected new DUP leader Peter Robinson's calls for unionist unity.

Speaking at the UUP's annual meeting on Saturday, Sir Reg dismissed Mr Robinson's overtures as a "stunt".

To applause from delegates, he said if the offer had been genuine it would not have been done through the media.

Sir Reg accused Mr Robinson of being behind a propaganda machine which had spat out venom at the UUP in the years after the Good Friday Agreement.

He said he was sick of the DUP taking credit for everyting good that had happened since 1998, particularly when it had done everything it could to undermine the change.

The UUP leader said while there were areas where the parties could co-operate, it would have to be a two-way process.

It would not be done just to help out the DUP at a time when it was facing pressure from Jim Allister's Traditional Unionist Voice party, he added.

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