A NEW Unionist Forum has been formed over growing flag unrest in Northern Ireland.
The new discussion group was born out of talks between the DUP, UUP and UDA leader Jackie McDonald following Belfast City Council’s decision to fly the Union flag at the City Hall on only 17 designated days.
The forum will be chaired by First Minister Peter Robinson and UUP leader Mike Nesbitt.
Invitations are to be extended to other unionist parties, representatives and interested groups.
A statement issued by the DUP press office said: “The forum will be a body through which unionists could meet to consider matters of interest and concern to the unionist community.
“The forum will not be a decision-making body but would act as a body within which a consensus might be built and implementation of any actions left to individual organisations.
“It would seek to engage positively with representatives from all sectors of the Northern Ireland community.”
Forty-one police officers have been injured during disturbances linked to the flag decision, while a number of politicians have received death threats and businesses have been affected.
The first meeting of the Unionist Forum will be held “soon” at Stormont.
Some of the issues which are to be discussed include flags, parades, and increasing the voter turnout in Unionist areas.