Absentee Unionists need to commit to policing: Long

Alliance Party Deputy Leader Naomi Long MLA has said Unionist politicians should stop boycotting policing structures and start living up to their responsibilities. She has called on the Secretary of State to address the question of allowances for members engaged in boycotts.

Speaking as Ulster Unionist nominees have adopted a policy of “selective boycott” regarding the new Northern Ireland Policing Board, Naomi Long stated: “It is utterly nonsensical for the UUP to protest about the reduction in the number of elected representatives on the Policing Board by absenting their own political representatives from meetings.

“Unionists cannot credibly castigate others for their lack of participation in policing structures or complain about lack of political input to the Board whilst continuing to shirk their responsibilities in this way.

“If Unionists are genuinely worried about policing, then it is about time they worked at improving it through the appropriate structures, rather than carping and criticizing from the side-lines.

“Politicians from both main Unionist parties in Belfast are already banking their paychecks as District Policing Partnership members whilst boycotting the meetings. Now the Ulster Unionists are taking it a stage further and adopting a policy of ‘selective boycott'” of the Policing Board, and no doubt will also still expect to be paid.

“Ultimately, if people continue with these boycotts the Secretary of State needs to intervene to ensure that the salaries and allowances are stopped until the boycotts end.”


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