Alex Kane

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Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie has apologised repeatedly for embarrassing tweets. Photograph: PA

Doug Beattie has a reputation as a straight talker. A decorated former soldier who has served in the British army in Iraq and Afghanistan, he readil(...)

Jim Allister: he  “frightens” the DUP not because of the TUV’s potential to win elections but because of his power to disrupt the electoral landscape. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

As Edwin Poots found himself without a party on the tumultuous Thursday which ended in his resignation as DUP leader, one political opponent wasted no(...)

The North’s Minister for Agriculture, Edwin Poots (right), and his constituency colleague,  Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Photographs: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images and Liam McBurney/PA Wire

The battle to become the next leader of the DUP was said to be too close to call on Thursday night as the party prepared for its first leadership elec(...)

Ulster Unionist Party MLA Doug Beattie:

A decorated British army veteran being widely tipped as the next Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader faces an existential battle to push the party as a(...)

Parliament Buildings in Stormont, Belfast. ‘Most unionists will be quietly relieved that, despite everything, Northern Ireland is still in the UK.’ File photograph: Peter Morrison/PA Wire

Unionism begins 2021 – Northern Ireland’s centenary – with a problem: a problem built upon an irony. The main plank of the pro-union argument has been(...)

PSNI officers conduct searches in the Bogside area of Derry on Friday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The past few weeks in Northern Ireland reminded me of Sherlock Holmes’s comment about the importance of the “observation of trifles”. On the surface t(...)

Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin and Arlene Foster of the DUP: “We have ongoing conflict stalemate rather than conflict resolution, and how could it be otherwise when we don’t agree on the constitutional future?” File photographs: Getty Images

It’s now 20 years since David Trimble - and two minor unionist parties - entered the talks process that led to the Belfast Agreement. Everyone was pre(...)

Many unionists will vote for the union come hell or high water, but increasing numbers   will now take a more measured, nuanced position. They will want solid answers to some very difficult questions. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy is correct (Irish Times, April 4th), I am an “unashamed, unambiguous, unembarrassed unionist”. But I’m also a unionist who h(...)

The British cultural identity of many people in the North can and must be accommodated and given expression in any united Ireland. This may involve wide-ranging constitutional change. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Last January, Sinn Féin held the first in a series of united Ireland conferences in Dublin’s Mansion House. Among the excellent presentations was a (...)

Parliament Buildings, Stormont. An idea in circulation is ‘joint authority’, which the SDLP endorsed in recent weeks as an alternative to direct rule from London. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Last Friday, British prime minister Theresa May went to Glasgow to affirm fidelity to an idea that has seldom looked shakier. Rejectin(...)

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