Thursday 12 May 2022
To prevent a Commons by-election loss to the Alliance Party, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s Stormont seat of Lagan Valley is to go instead to Emma Little-Pengelly. That is how it works.
Little-Pengelly, who was the DUP MP for Belfast South from 2017 to 2019, is the daughter of Noel Little of the Paris Three, procurers of arms from apartheid South Africa. She owed her election, for a somewhat improbable seat, to the concerted efforts of the local Loyalist paramilitary organisations, to whom she extended barely coded thanks in her acceptance speech.
Sammy Wilson, who was then the DUP’s Press Officer and who is now one of its MPs, chaired the founding rally of Ulster Resistance, which has never disbanded or disarmed in any way. Ian Paisley (the Elder, so to speak), Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster all spoke at that rally.
It is highly unusual for a married woman from her background to continue to use her maiden name, even in hyphenated form. But Noel Little’s daughter does so. Throughout her time in Parliament, the Government had an overall majority of one. Throughout that time, she was that majority. Countries are sanctioned for less.
The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster has congregations in Bridlington, Bristol, Gardenstown, Lewes, Liverpool, Merthyr Tydfil, Oulton Broad, Rutherglen, South Grove, and Tavistock. Each presumably contains at least 11 adults, one to be the candidate and 10 to sign the nomination papers, so there are 10 Commons seats in Great Britain that the DUP ought to contest, and let us see how well it did.