Election 2015: NI Tory candidates 'not blow-ins'

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media captionTheresa Villiers said the Conservatives believe in the union and in candidates from different parts of the United Kingdom

The NI secretary has dismissed criticism that many of the Conservative Party candidates are "blow-ins".

Theresa Villiers was speaking at the launch of the 20-page NI Conservative election manifesto.

It is called Strong Leadership, A Clear Economic Plan, and A Brighter, More Secure Future for Northern Ireland.NI Tory candidates 'not blow-ins'

In the foreword, David Cameron said he was fully committed to Northern Ireland and keeping the UK together.

The Tories are fielding 16 candidates in the election in Northern Ireland, but not in Fermanagh and South Tyrone or North Belfast.

Lowering taxes

Ms Villiers said the Conservatives believe in the union and in candidates from different parts of the United Kingdom standing in different parts of the country.

She said her party believes in "re-balancing the Northern Ireland economy" and implementing the Stormont House Agreement including the devolution of corporation tax if the Northern Ireland parties honoured their side of the agreement.

The Secretary of State said the main themes of the party's Northern Ireland manifesto were similar to their national one: rewarding work by lowering taxes for the low-paid, dealing with debt and reforming social welfare to make taking a job more attractive.