Loyalist

An umbrella group which has the backing of the three main loyalist paramilitary organisations has warned unionists not to vote for the Alliance party.

The Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) was launched in 2015.

In a statement, it said that “any unionist who votes for the Alliance Party is driving a nail into the coffin of the union”.

The Alliance Party has strongly rebuked the LCC position, calling the statement “absurd”.

The loyalist community council has the backing of the Ulster Defence Association, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Red Hand Commando.

The LCC also said no party has done “more to undermine the Britishness of Northern Ireland, and foment community mistrust and division than the Alliance Party”.

It called for a maximum turnout by unionist voters and endorsed four specific candidates.

They are Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds in North Belfast, the DUP’s Gavin Robinson in East Belfast and the DUP’s Emma Little Pengelly in South Belfast.

In the first two constituencies, the candidates mentioned are the only unionists running, but in the other two seats the DUP faces competition from the Ulster Unionists.

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