Mervyn Storey said: “There were a number of key issues that lay at the heart of the recent General Election campaign in Northern Ireland. For example there was the issue of protecting our economic recovery. But there was also the whole question of whether Northern Ireland would move forward or be lurched backwards.
“As with the rest of the province, North Antrim sent out a very clear and strong message that the people reject those who can only see behind them and can only look backwards.”
“The massive endorsement given by the people of North Antrim to Ian Paisley Jnr was part of the outstanding election result achieved by the DUP right across the Province.“Ian’s victory in North Antrim was, however, particularly pleasing. The mandate given to Ian by North Antrim was a vote for the future and it is a mandate that I have no doubt he will honour. I am also in no doubt that he will continue to establish himself as a hardworking representative for North Antrim, Ulster and the cause of unionism.”
Mr Storey added: “There is now no doubt that unionism has made up its mind on where it wants to go in the future. I would issue this invitation to other unionists regardless of whether they are UUP or TUV. The debates about the recent past have been held and the DUP has won them. The issues now are about the future.
“There are many things that we all hold dear and many concerns that we hold in common.
“We all want to see Northern Ireland develop along certain lines, moving towards more voluntary arrangements and ever greater normality. Come and work with us and play your part in helping to achieve that,” said Mr Storey
“The DUP is now in a position of considerable electoral and political strength. However we are in the business of seeking to use that, not for selfish gain, but for the general good and the furtherance of unionism. There is a place at our side for others.
“We are willing to work with fellow unionists. I would invite others to come alongside of us, even now and lend your assistance to that end,” he said.