BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:15 UK

TUV in first minister job pledge

Jim Allister speaking at the party's manifesto launch

The TUV leader has said his party will use any leverage it has in a hung parliament to reverse rules over the NI first minister job.

Jim Allister said that the rules could hand the first minister's job to Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness.

He said the St Andrew's rule change which allowed the largest party to enter the office instead of the largest designation must be reversed.

Mr Allister was launching his party's manifesto.

He accused the DUP of allowing this change to happen so the party could scare unionists into backing it in polls.

He said unionists must work at Westminster to change the rule.

Under the Good Friday Agreement, the top post went to the group or designation with the largest number of voters therefore securing the job for unionism for some time.

Launching its manifesto, the TUV put integrity in public office a central plank at the top of its list.

The TUV leader has claimed voters are dismayed about what he called scandal surrounding the DUP.

He claimed voters were turning to his party as an alternative.

Government

Mr Allister said he wanted to see voluntary coalition in the assembly, adding the TUV would not join any government that involved Sinn Fein.

He said rules should be changed to ensure anyone with a terrorist conviction cannot be a minister.

Mr Allister said the DUP's "unexplained links to property developers" was an issue on the doorsteps.

And he demanded to know why UTV's Ken Reid was the only correspondent being allowed to see legal advice which Mr Robinson says clears him over allegations that he may have breached the ministerial code over his wife Iris' business dealings.

He accused Mr Robinson of engaging in "DIY vindication".

The party is standing in 10 out of Northern Ireland's 18 constituencies.

The main points of the TUV manifesto include:

• Economy: UK economic stability must be restored as a priority; can only be achieved if there are significant cutbacks across the bloated bureaucracy of government.

• Education: Strongly supports academic selection where that suits the abilities of children who wish to avail of it; there must be no funding hierarchy whereby secondary schools are disadvantaged.

• Health: Frontline services must be protected by ring-fenced funding.


Click here to read Traditional Unionist Voice manifesto

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