Mr. Elliott made the remarks at the launch of the UUP manifesto in Enniskillen yesterday while his party leader Mike Nesbitt said the Northern Ireland Executive lacks ambition.
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton, who also visited Enniskillen yesterday, said the comments represented “an admission of defeat” by Mr. Elliott and the UUP.
“Such a statement is remarkable in that it represents an admission of defeat by the UUP before a single vote has been cast. The only people who will ‘carve’ anything in the new Councils will be those who can win seats by virtue of support from the public; that is how elections work. It is particularly disappointing for unionists in the west of Northern Ireland to hear such a demoralising message from someone who should know better.
“Given that Tom Elliott has already thrown in the towel there is a supreme irony that Mike Nesbitt then went on to criticise the Northern Ireland Executive for a 'lack of ambition'. The clear sideswipe at his colleague Danny Kennedy may be another issue to focus on, but when it comes to a lack of ambition there are few individuals or groups who could compete with Tom Elliott and the UUP,” he said.