Alliance Leader David Ford has said that democrats cannot be kept waiting forever for paramilitaries to abandon violence and turn to exclusively peaceful means.
Speaking after the Prime Minister’s speech today, Mr Ford said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s recognition of the very real problems that republican paramilitary activity has brought, and that there is now an onus on the IRA to restore the trust and confidence lost in the wake of the spying allegations.
“But Mr Blair cannot expect democrats to wait indefinitely with the institutions suspended for republicans to make up their minds about whether to continue with their twin-track tactics or commit to exclusively peaceful means.
“I want to hear from the Government about what urgent action they will be taking to ensure that the Assembly gets back into operation as quickly as possible. If Mr Blair’s main problem is with republican antics, the rest of us shouldn’t be left hanging in limbo forever.
“Mr Blair has also spelled out the issues unionism and loyalism must resolve, and there is no doubt that there must be a new commitment from that section of the community to making the institutions work and creating stability where there has been crisis and violence.
“For our part, Alliance will continue to meet with other parties, to continue our dialogue with them, and work to get the institutions the people of Northern Ireland want back on the road to democracy.”