Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party

The Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP), informally known as Ulster Vanguard, was a unionist political party which existed in Northern Ireland between 1972 and 1978. Led by William Craig, the party emerged from a split in the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and was closely affiliated with several loyalist paramilitary groups. The presence of features such as an honour guard and a common salute led opponents to accuse it of being fascist. The party was set up in opposition to power sharing with Irish nationalist parties. It opposed the Sunningdale Agreement and was involved in extra-parliamentary activity against the agreement. However in 1975, during discussions on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland in the constitutional convention, William Craig suggested the possibility of voluntary power sharing with the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party. In consequence the party split, with dissenters forming the United Ulster Unionist Party. Thereafter Vanguard declined and following poor results in the 1977 local government elections, Craig merged the remainder of Vanguard into the UUP in February 1978.

Read more about Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party:  Origins, Ideology, Policies, Electoral Performances, Split, Decline and Disbandment, Prominent UUP Members in Vanguard

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Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party - Prominent UUP Members in Vanguard
... Several prominent current Ulster Unionist politicians were members of Vanguard, including future UUP MP David Burnside (who was Vanguard's press officer from 1974 to 1977) while those ... deputy speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Jim Wilson, served as a Vanguard councillor on Newtownabbey Borough Council from 1975 to 1976 before joining the UUP Rev ... Grand Master of the Orange Order, was deputy leader of the Vanguard movement but declined to join the party ...

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