The TUV have accused the DUP of performing the biggest u-turn in political history following the First Minister’s Decision to halt the development of a peace centre at the Maze.
Lagan Valley spokesman Sammy Morrison hailed the move as a victory for innocent victims and those who signed a petition opposing the development.
He said: “After months of attempting to defend the indefensible, saying that opponents of the Maze Conflict Centre needed to be carted off by men in white coats and branding them ‘nutters’ the DUP have performed the biggest U-turn in recent political history.
“The DUP were pressing full speed ahead with this issue. Local MP Jeffrey Donaldson has repeatedly defended the project both locally and Province wide.
“Had it not been for the resolute stand of innocent victims, the Orange Order and the thousands of people who signed the petition this scheme would have gone ahead.
“I would like to publicly thank the people of Lagan Valley who, in their thousands, signed the petition against the Maze at band parades, Loyal Order demonstrations and on the door steps when approached by TUV members.”
Local MP Jeffrey Donaldson pointed to a lack of a broad consensus in moving the Maze Peace Centre forward as well as “Sinn Féin’s behaviour” as major factors in the First Minister’s decision to halt the development.
Peter Robinson announced the U-turn in a letter to DUP members on Wednesday night.
Mr Donaldson told the Star that over the last few weeks there had been wide consultation on the proposal which included local representatives from Lagan Valley.
He explained that after listening carefully to concerns it is evident there “is not broad consensus to move the Peace Centre forward”.
He said: “The DUP has listened very carefully to what people have had to say and recognise there isn’t a consensus on how to take this forward and for this reason we are using our veto at Stormont to prevent any public use - including tours of retained and listed buildings.
The MP blamed Sinn Féin for undermining community relations. He said: “Enormous damage has been done to community relations in Northern Ireland in recent events including the Sinn Féin parade in Castlederg last weekend which caused so much hurt to the families of the 29 innocent victims.”