Jim Allister: It’s time for action, not mere words

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Statement by Jim Allister

“Failure to deliver on previous declarations that north/southery will suffer because of the Protocol rather takes the sting out of mere repetition of that declaration by the DUP leader.

It’s time for action, not mere words. Anyone who thinks that the Union-dismantling Protocol merely contains “flaws” is failing to grasp the irreparable nature of that which has already effected constitutional change by placing much of the economy of this part of the U.K. under foreign laws and jurisdiction”.

Sir Jeffrey Mark Donaldson (born 7 December 1962) is a British politician from Northern Ireland who has served as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) since June 2021. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lagan Valley since 1997, and leader of the DUP in the UK House of Commons since 2019. He is Northern Ireland’s longest-serving current MP.

“Tinkering to address ‘flaws’ will not undo the permanent constitutional and economic havoc being wrought by the iniquitous Protocol”.

What Jim thinks of Jim, from his website

“Jim Allister is the leader of Traditional Unionist Voice and represents North Antrim in the Northern Ireland Assembly. He is the Ulster Politician who put principle before power by resigning from the DUP over its decision to take IRA/Sinn Fein into government. Within Stormont he vigorously takes the battle to the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition and champions the cause restoring to the voters the fundamental democratic rights of being permitted in an election to change their government and even to have an Opposition. Hence he consistently opposes the absurdity of mandatory coalition.

He served Northern Ireland in the European Parliament 2004-09, where he was named by the Taxpayers’ Alliance as the UK’s best MEP. A noted Euro sceptic he strongly opposes the haemorrhaging of powers to Brussels.

Born in County Down in 1953 into a farming family, he studied at Regent House, Newtownards and Queen’s University Belfast, when he first engaged in politics. Having studied law he was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1976 and in 2001 was elevated to the Senior Bar where he enjoyed a successful career specialising in criminal law.

Living in the heart of County Antrim, he is married to Ruth. They have three grown up children, a daughter, two sons and two grandsons.”

James Hugh AllisterQC, is a British Unionist politician and barrister from Northern Ireland. He founded the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) political party in 2007, leading the party since its formation. He is the party’s only member in the Northern Ireland Assembly, representing North Antrim since 2011.

He was formerly a member of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), for which he successfully stood for election in 2004 to the European Parliament, succeeding Ian Paisley. He continued as a member of the European Parliament following his resignation from the DUP and his subsequent establishment of the TUV in 2007.


Allister was born in ListooderCrossgar, in County Down where he lived until he was nine when his family moved to Craigantlet, Newtownards. Allister was a pupil at Barnamaghery Primary School and later Dundonald Primary School when he moved house.[1] After attending Regent House Grammar School in Newtownards, Allister graduated with a Bachelor of Law with Honours in Constitutional Law from Queen’s University of Belfast. In 1974 he unsuccessfully stood for the post of President of Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union.[2]

He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland as a barrister in 1976, where he specialised in criminal law, and later called to the Senior Bar as a Queen’s Counsel; he took silk in 2001.[1]

Political career

Allister joined the DUP at its founding in 1971. He served as a European Parliament assistant to Ian Paisley from 1980 to 1982. In 1982 he was elected as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont for North Antrim and served as the DUP Assembly Chief Whip. He was also the Vice-Chairman of Scrutiny Committee of Department of Finance and Personnel from October 1982 to June 1986. Outside the Stormont Assembly, he was a member of Newtownabbey Borough Council from 1985 to 1987. In 1983, he had stood as a DUP candidate in the Westminster election for East Antrim. However he lost to Roy Beggs.

Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in November 1985 by the Thatcher and FitzGerald governments, he was an opponent of the treaty. He was also a member of the Joint Unionist Working Party, a body set up by his party and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) to oversee the unionist campaign against the Agreement.

His departure from active politics in June 1987 followed a reported disagreement with Paisley over a voting pact with James Molyneaux‘s UUP. The situation resembled fellow unionist politician and barrister Robert McCartney‘s in the North Down constituency. McCartney was expelled from the UUP around the same time for not accepting the policy of the leadership.

Allister returned to run for the party’s nomination for MEP in 2004. Allister was elected to the European Parliament for the DUP in the 2004 election. In March 2005 Allister was the victim of cybersquatting, when a domain advertised on the outside of his office was registered by the Ulster Young Unionist Council which preceded him.[3] The domain read “Too slow Jim, vote Ulster Unionist“.[4]

On 27 March 2007, he resigned from the DUP because of the party’s decision to enter into government with Sinn Féin. It was the second occasion on which he had resigned from the party.[5]

In late 2007, speculation began over Allister’s political intentions, with it being suggested that a new Unionist political party was imminent.[6] It was claimed on 10 October 2007 that he had been approached by the UK Independence Party (UKIP),[7] but he proceeded to found the Traditional Unionist Voice party on 7 December 2007.[8]

In the 2009 European elections, he gained only 13.5% of the first preference vote, standing as a TUV candidate and lost his European Parliament seat on the second count.[9]

He intimated that he might stand as a candidate for the Westminster Parliamentary election in North Antrim. According to the European election result in North Antrim, Allister stood a good chance of winning the seat. This would have been a tremendous loss to the DUP, as it has historically been the party’s safest seat and the seat of DUP founder and former party leader Ian Paisley.

In the 2010 General election, Allister finished second in North Antrim, with 7,114 votes to the DUP’s Ian Paisley Jr who polled 19,672 votes. His TUV party polled some 26,300 votes throughout Northern Ireland, a drop of almost two-thirds in their level of support at the European election in 2009. In the 2011 Stormont election, he was elected MLA of North Antrim, claiming the 6th seat.

In August 2012 Allister called the Parades Commission “little Hitlers” when they placed restrictions on a loyalist parade.[10]

Allister holds conservative views on social policy and is a supporter of the evangelical creationist lobby group, the Caleb Foundation.[11]

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