From Gavin Robinson MP <[email protected]>
Subject Easter Message
Date March 30, 2024 11:00 AM
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We exist to build a better and stronger Northern Ireland

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Good morning John

Yesterday our Party Officers received the resignation of Jeffrey Donaldson as leader of the Party. He has been suspended from our membership pending the outcome of a judicial process.

Following this, the Party Officers have appointed me as interim leader.

Our thoughts are with those suffering and who have put their faith in our criminal justice system. The police service and courts must be allowed to complete their processes without interference. Nothing that any of us say or do, must in anyway compromise that process.

There will be some who will attempt to score cheap political points, but I know that colleagues and friends across Northern Ireland will ignore the noise and focus on what really matters.

The Democratic Unionist Party is not about any one individual. We are a party of MPs, MLAs, Councillors, and scores of dedicated members across all parts of Northern Ireland. We exist to build a better and stronger Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.

I am honoured to take up the position of interim leader of the Party. I wish you all a happy and peaceful Easter break.

This is the day in-between. Yesterday, as Christians, we remembered the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour. That was a day of anguish and pain. But it’s a weekend of tremendous hope because we look forward to Resurrection Sunday when Christ conquered death. The hope bought through Jesus’ death and resurrection has been lighting up hearts for two thousand years.

This weekend however we must lift our eyes from the hills around us. I am mindful that across the world there are Christians for whom Easter is another Christian celebration where they must hide their faith for fear of retribution from the State.

According to Open Doors UK, some 15,000 Christian properties were targeted in 2023 – that’s seven times the number recorded in 2022. Two-thirds of these were in China (around 10,000), where intrusive surveillance and suffocating restrictions are forcing many Christians further underground.

In Parliament, the Democratic Unionist Party has been a consistent campaigner and advocate for those Christians around the world who face imprisonment or death for their faith.

Religious freedom flows from our Christian faith. “Love thy neighbour as thyself” was an instruction from our Lord without caveat.

As Members of Parliament, Assembly Members, Councillors and Party activists, we can collectively pause over this weekend to reflect on the freedoms we have and ensure we safeguard them for our children.

Many thanks,

Gavin Robinson MP

Democratic Unionist Party

Interim Leader
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