Will David Trimble Join the Tories?
Lloyd, John, New Statesman (1996)
Amid talk of civil war, John Lloyd hears Ulster's First Minister discuss imminent resignation, Sinn Fein's fraudulent election, and a possible change of party
When I talked to David Trimble last Tuesday, his resignation as First Minister of Northern Ireland was -- in his own mind, at least -- certain. "I don't imagine that the Sinners" (as he calls Sinn Fein, perhaps relishing the pun) "will do anything before 1 July" -- the date on which he had said he would resign if there was no substantive progress on the decommissioning of its arms dumps. "They have been hoping that the Unionist Party would resolve the problem for them by removing me from leadership last weekend; or they were hoping for a fudge. But I am still leader: and there is no fudge."
In this, he seems almost serene. When he held post-election talks at Downing Street with Tony Blair and the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, he brusquely dismissed their efforts to find a compromise. What, it was put to him, if we get the "Sinners" to give some absolutely firm timetable for future decommissioning? Look, said Trimble, they promised that last May -- when the government, with the agreement of all the parties, extended the deadline for decommissioning to June 2001. In talking of "firm timetables", you would simply be asking them to give a promise that they would do something they had already promised to do -- without effect. …
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Publication information: Article title: Will David Trimble Join the Tories?. Contributors: Lloyd, John - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 130. Issue: 4544 Publication date: July 2, 2001. Page number: 10. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.