Nigel Farage Backs DUP Candidates over TUV-Reform Alliance

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has announced his personal endorsement of two Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidates in the upcoming general election, despite Reform UK’s alliance with the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV). Farage stated that he will be supporting Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley in their respective constituencies.

The TUV leader, Jim Allister, expressed surprise at the news, stating that the endorsement came as a disappointment given the previous electoral arrangement between the TUV and Reform UK. Allister emphasized that the TUV’s focus remains on garnering support from ordinary voters.

The TUV had initially sought to run candidates under a joint banner of “TUV/Reform UK,” but this request was rejected by the Electoral Office. Instead, TUV candidates will appear on the ballot under the label “TUV no sea border.”

Despite the endorsement, Reform UK affirmed its commitment to the alliance with the TUV, clarifying that candidates will continue to stand under the joint logo throughout Northern Ireland. Farage’s endorsement of the DUP candidates was described as a personal view, highlighting his longstanding relationship with Wilson and Paisley.

In response to Farage’s endorsement, the two DUP candidates called on the TUV to abandon the Reform UK branding, citing Farage’s endorsement as a testament to their pro-union stance and track record of serving the constituents.

Overall, the endorsement by Nigel Farage has added a new dimension to the electoral landscape in Northern Ireland, highlighting the complex dynamics between political parties and alliances in the region.