Northern Ireland

Conservatives field seven Northern Ireland candidates

James Brokenshire Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption James Brokenshire ruled out a border poll, saying the requirements for one were 'not remotely satisfied'

Support for the Conservative party fielding candidates in NI will continue despite disappointing results, the Secretary of State has said.

It was essential people could vote for a party in government, said James Brokenshire.

He was speaking to an audience of party members and journalists at the party's election manifesto launch in Belfast.

The Tories, who secured less than 2,500 votes in March's assembly election, are fielding seven candidates.

The manifesto rules out joint authority over NI between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Brokenshire also ruled out a border poll, saying the requirements for one were "not remotely satisfied".

Post-election talks

When asked how long the party would continue to support local candidates, Mr Brokenshire said it was about choice.

"You know we want to see more people voting Conservative at this election and beyond, and I think it is that resolute commitment we have that we want to see continuing into the future," said Mr Brokenshire.

"It really matters that people do have that say; do have that ability to vote for a party within government; looking to remain in government.

"And therefore I believe that that will continue very firmly, long into the future."

The manifesto promises an economy "that works for everyone", and says new bodies to deal with the legacy of the past will be "fair, balanced and proportionate" and will not "unfairly focus on former members of the armed forces and the RUC".

He urged the Northern Ireland parties to work intensively to re-establish a power-sharing Executive in talks which are due to resume after the election on 8 June.

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