1. Antrim Times:
Stressing several times that he was a "positive and progressive unionist", Mr Elliott added: "I am also someone who understands the need to move at a pace that is constructive – not destructive."
2.Mike Nesbitt on his own blog:
But as you bring up politics, I have spoken to Tom Elliott, and would, therefore, challenge you to provide the evidence that he said he would never attend a GAA match, because that is not what he tells me.
3.Belfast Telegraph, Friday 3/9:
"I have indicated at party meetings that whilst some members of our party would go to gay pride marches or GAA|matches, I wouldn't go.
"That's a personal issue, but I hold no issue with any of those who would."
He also stated: “It was just me saying that I never have and it's certainly not my intention to go to any of them."
4.Belfast Telegraph, Sat 4/9:
"I want to have an inclusive, rather than an excluding, party and was simply asking people to accept and respect that others make different choices. I am a soccer follower. And I am not saying I would never, never attend such an event, I would make a decision at the time."
OK, in the interests of transparency, I should start by pointing out at this point that I'm no longer a member of the UUP and won't be therefore voting in the leadership election
My definition of "progressive" and "inclusive" would include the positive welcoming of "gay" and "GAA" votes for the party; could that achieved by the kind of sentiment apparent in the first Telegraph quotation? But as "progressive" and "inclusive" are obviously subjective terms politically, I think the time must have come for Tom Elliott to supply us with his definition for those terms, instead of merely using them as throwaway and meaningless slogans.
I also placed the four quotes in time sequence to illustrate the "flip-flop-flip" and back to "flop" attitude on these two important and entirely predictable (once you proclaim yourself a "positive and "progressive Unionist" that is), cultural questions. He hasn't attended a GAA game or Gay Pride event before, can we assume from the latest pronouncement that he would at least consider it... or should we hold on for the next garbled "update"?
A confusing and ambivalent message terribly communicated, what will happen when he's faced with less predictable questions and situations?