From Sir Jeffrey Donaldson <[email protected]>
Subject Membership is Growing
Date June 3, 2023 6:59 AM
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I am delighted that every week I am signing welcome letters for new members. After the recent Council election, there has been a steady flow of membership applications across Northern Ireland.

A growing membership is a sure sign we are on the right track. People want to get involved rather than stand on the side-lines. This is exactly what we need. These members will be the Councillors, MLAs and MPs of the future.

A vibrant membership is critical to any Party machine. If you are not a member or know someone who is a DUP voter but is not a member, why not share this join here ([link removed]) link today and urge them to take the step and become a Party member in their locality.

I met thousands of people during the campaign who are passionate about Northern Ireland and want our position within the UK restored so our economy can thrive,and we get the reforms we need in our schools and hospitals.

Meanwhile,they know that Sinn Fein want to take Northern Ireland in the wrong direction despite the overwhelming majority living here being proud of Northern Ireland and wanting the place they call home to be prosperous within the United Kingdom.

Whilst nationalists have rowed in behind Sinn Fein, more and more unionists are coming on board with the DUP and seeking to play their part in keeping Northern Ireland moving in the right direction.

I am in the business of building unionism not dividing and weakening unionism.

You may remember that Sinn Fein vetoed ([link removed]) the placement of a Stone at Stormont to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary in 2021. Back in February however, we were able to resubmit ([link removed]) our application to place this Stone in Stormont and Sinn Fein was unable to veto it on this occasion.

The Stone has now been constructed and we are finalising arrangements to have it erected at Stormont. This Stone was jointly commissioned and paid for by all the Unionist MLAs in the NI Assembly. This shows what can be achieved when unionists work together.

This week I met with our team of newly elected Councillors. They are full of enthusiasm to get to workand stand up for Northern Ireland in their Council. We discussed our plan to get people better value for their rates whilst ensuring Councils focus on what matters rather than pet political projects that are driving up rates for homeowners.

We also had success this week as the Department of Education backed down on proposed cuts to Youth Services, a range of Early Years Programmes and Extended Schools.

The budget handed down by the Secretary of State is deficient and the choices within education are a stark demonstration of that. These cuts were proposed in an attempt to avoid overspending an inadequate budget, but the programmes are not only meeting real need within Northern Ireland, but amongst the most disadvantaged in our community.

It is for this reason that we will continue to argue for changes to how Northern Ireland is funded through the Barnett Formula. Whether Stormont is sitting or not, our funding situation must be resolved.

Finally, our work continues in London to ensure that the Northern Ireland Assembly can be restored on a fair and sustainable basis. Whilst the Alliance Party and Sinn Fein told us the Protocol was unalterable and needed to be rigorously implemented, we proved them wrong and have made progress but we now need to finish the job. Our campaign goes on.

Thank you for your support.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
DUP Leader
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