The East Belfast Assembly Member said: “The decision made by the Speaker to disallow the Ulster Unionist and PUP’s link has give the UUP a get out clause.
“The Ulster Unionists failed to address the serious concerns that the decent people of Northern Ireland had about this deal.
“The Ulster Unionists connection with the representatives of armed and active paramilitaries into their party. This type of action goes against all accepted democratic norms.
“I am, however, glad that some leading members of the Ulster Unionists broke rank and expressed their disgust at this grubby link but clearly, the Ulster Unionists did not have the strength of character or morals to break this link.
“I am sure that people will always remember that the Ulster Unionists did not have the principles to sever their connection with the representatives of active paramilitaries. Their blushes have only been saved by the decision of the Speaker to stop their disgusting deal.”
Naomi Long concluded: “The obvious lack of judgement shown on this matter by the Ulster Unionists will disgust decent people who might previously have thought well of them.”