Senior DUP figures have been engaged in a bizarre exchange of emails over the St Andrew's Agreement with loyalist double murderer, Pastor Kenny McClinton.
The correspondence with MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley jnr has been released exclusively to the Sunday Tribune by McClinton, who was the Loyalist Volunteer Force's point of contact with the international decommissioning body.
McClinton opposes the St Andrew's Agreement and believes the DUP are "selling out unionism" by preparing to allow "unrepentant terrorists into government".
The emails disclose the DUP sees the Agreement as a means of smashing the republican movement, with the policing issue as the final nail in the coffin.
In one email, Ian jnr states: "We couldn't kill them but we can destroy them and their ideology". A republican who accepts the police is no longer a republican, he says.
"Look whose(sic) under pressure tonight the traitors in Sinn Féin, traitors to republicanism! Rejoice, our enemy is turning against themselves."
In his email, Donaldson addresses the convicted loyalist paramilitary as "a brother in the Lord". He says no-one in the DUP likes the prospect of Sinn Féin in government but unionism is winning:
"It is clear Sinn Féin/IRA are under serious internal pressure and may well be incapable of delivering on what is required in terms of support for participation in British democracy, support for a British Police Service and recognition of British Courts and British Justice. All of this with no prospect of a United Ireland in our lifetime. No wonder their rank and file are deeply concerned.
"These decisions are a million miles away from 1916 and the declaration of a 32-county republic. In short, the IRA has lost the battle for a United Ireland."
Donaldson warns if unionism rejects what's on offer, the British government will proceed with a "deeply green Plan B", including joint sovereignty. He asks the ex-loyalist paramilitary, "Is this what you fought for Kenny?"
In his email to Ian jnr, McClinton speaks of anger among life-long DUP supporters and accuses the leadership of "playing party politics with your groupies, flatterers, and 'YES' men".
"And while we are at it YOUNG MAN, don't you ever in your life question my loyalty or commitment to the country I love! There's more loyalty in my big toe than you have in your entire body!
"Where were whippersnappers like YOU when I was walking the wings of the H-blocks stark naked on the loyalist blanket protest? Where were you then, BOY?
"How dare you throw snide remarks at me. I went out on the 10th May 1977 and shot a man DEAD to take all public transport off the roads of Ulster why? Because I was into shooting people dead? No! In an attempt to back up your father's less than popular call for a strike.
"Like the rest of you political clowns, you make plenty of TALK but actually do nothing but draw wages. I'm finished with you, and your party."
In his response to Donaldson, McClinton claims ex-loyalist prisoners are "treated like something scraped off the sole of someone's shoe; unemployable; living on social security benefits".
He asks if he went to jail to ensure "DUP politicians and their sons . . were put into good, high-paid jobs, amass large bank balances over years and years of our poverty, and wined and dined by the so-called 'great and the good' whose company the DUP now seem to covet while ex-Loyalist combatants are treated as scum. Are these, perhaps, what I 'fought for', Jeffrey? "
He claims the DUP cares only about votes but, at the Assembly elections on March 7, "God willing, the DUP. just might get one very nasty surprise. This worm is turning."
McClinton said he had released the emails "because country comes before confidentiality." He said he regretted his terrorist involvement which had ended 30 years ago. Jeffrey Donaldson said: "Kenny McClinton is someone with a terrorist background who has himself stood for election and failed to achieve a mandate.
"He is mistaken if he thinks by publishing these emails, he will embarrass the DUP. I'm happy to stand by everything I wrote." Donaldson said McClinton's behaviour relating to the emails was "very unChristian by someone who professes to be a brother in the Lord".
Ian Paisley jnr said: "My emails speak for themselves. I've no difficulty with their publication indeed, given the person I was dealing with, it's not unexpected. Kenny had no problems begging me to help get him a visa to the US where he wants to 'preach The Word'.
"He has a lot more to lose from the publication of these emails than me. By his actions, he is undermining unionism. It's Sinn Féin which will be celebrating the actions of Kenny McClinton. If this is the calibre of opposition to the DUP within unionism, people will draw their own conclusions."