‘Better Together’ party to contest Holyrood 2016 election

The party founders met while campaigning for the Union as part of Better Together. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The party founders met while campaigning for the Union as part of Better Together. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
0
Have your say

A NEW political party established by activists who worked for the Better Together campaign will put forward candidates in the Scottish election in May this year.

The party, named ‘A Better Britain - Unionist Party’ (ABBUP) has been set up by a number of Glasgow-based activists and is targeting voters who feel ‘let down’ by Scotland’s three mainstream pro-Union parties.

The new party has been set up by Labour and Conservative grassroots activists. Picture: Contributed

The new party has been set up by Labour and Conservative grassroots activists. Picture: Contributed

The party’s aim is to get at least one MSP elected to Holyrood in order to ‘challenge the complacency’ of Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives.

Founder-member John Mortimer told BuzzFeed News that the party would give peopple a ‘truly Unionist option’ at the election.

He added: “Politics in this country used to be left and right but for the foreseeable future it’s going to be unionism and nationalism.

“I don’t think the mainstream unionist parties have responded to that.”

In the long term, we feel that [challenging the complacency of the mainstream Unionist parties] is what needs to be done in the battle to save the Union

John Mortimer

Mr Mortimer voiced his concern at the routes taken by the three main pro-Union parties in Scotland with regards further powers.

He continued: “We feel that the mainstream unionist parties are all going down the path of devolution – the Tories are asking for more powers, the Lib Dems are asking for federalism, and Labour want devo-max.”

The newly-founded party will oppose any new powers delivered to the Scottish Parliament and will fight for a ‘closer Union’.

ABBUP main pledges include “opposing any more referendums on independence and hold the SNP to their ‘once in a generation’ promise; supporting the flying of the Union Jack alongside the Saltire at all government buildings; reinstating the Scottish Royal Coat of Arms on all Scottish parliamentary material and signing a pledge between the British and Scottish Governments to work together in harmony and towards ‘closer union’.”

Describing itself as a ‘centrist party’, ABBUP will also back the disarming of Police Scotland officers routine patrols; introduce a new high-income tax rate of 50p in the pound and argue for Trident to be kept at Faslane.

Founded by ‘grassroots Unionist activists’, the party ‘wants to make a positive case for the Union and our British identity that underpins it’ and states that it stands for ‘Traditional Unionism, Traditional Britishness, and Social Democracy’.

ABBUP, which is described as an ‘anti-austerity’ party, is also supporting the campaign for local autonomy in Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides and wants to reform Council Tax bands and abolish Police Scotland.

Mr Mortimer added: “In the long term, we feel that [challenging the complacency of the mainstream Unionist parties] is what needs to be done in the battle to save the Union.”