Lord Trimble’s widow backs Liz Truss in Tory leadership race

Conservative leadership bid Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble has backed Liz Truss in the leadership race saying she is confident that her late husband’s legacy of peace in Northern Ireland “will be safe with her”.

Lady Trimble said one of her late husband’s last acts was to declare his support for her.

Writing in the Telegraph newspaper published on Thursday Lady Trimble said she believed Ms Truss has the “best record and a viable plan” to protect the Union.

Her comments come after Ms Truss, along with Rishi Sunak, took part in hustings in front of Northern Ireland Conservatives.

The powersharing structures Lord Trimble helped create in the landmark Good Friday Agreement agreement are currently in limbo, with the DUP blocking the creation of a governing executive in protest at Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol.

Lady Trimble wrote: “I believe that in this contest, Liz Truss has the best record and a viable plan to protect our Union and Northern Ireland’s integral place within it.

“I know David thought the same.

“One of the last things he did before we lost him was to ask his son to collect his voting papers so he could vote for Liz.

“He was adamant that she was what the country needed and I agree.

“She has already proven her resolve and bravery in the face of opposition to our most valuable asset, and I am confident that my husband’s legacy, peace in Northern Ireland, will be safe with her.”

Lady Trimble, born Daphne Orr, is an academic who served as a member of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble with his wife Daphne Credit: Paul Faith/PA

In the article she described unionism is a core Conservative value that is “under threat”, primarily as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol, adding it was one of the reasons she is backing Ms Truss.

She said the Protocol is putting “hard-won gains at risk”.

“In David’s words: ‘It drives a coach and horses through the Agreement.’

“There needs to be a solution,” she wrote.

“It will not be easy, but the alternative is a continued political impasse in Northern Ireland, ongoing disillusion of the Unionist community, and ultimately a breakdown of the fabric of our United Kingdom.”

She added that an “iron will” will be needed to see the Protocol Bill through Parliament and into law.

But said it would be “essential if we are to restore our political institutions in Northern Ireland and if we are to show the European Union that we will do whatever it takes to deliver the right solution for the UK”.

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