The East Belfast Assembly Member stated: “The Conservatives in the House of Lords have let the people of Northern Ireland down yet again. They let us down a month ago in the rates vote and they have done the same again over water charges.
“Twice the Tories have capitulated to the government to the detriment of local people. Their actions punish every householder in Northern Ireland.
“It is regrettable that local Tories don’t have any influence over their colleagues in the House of Lords. I cannot comprehend why they were sucked in by Lord Rooker’s plans last night.
“The lack of backbone shown by many of their peers illustrates the disdain they have for Northern Ireland and local voters.
“The Conservatives have dealt a double bodyblow to the people of Northern Ireland in the past month and these actions will not go unnoticed by local people.
“The Tories can try to pretend that they are modernizing, but this vote shows how out of touch they really are with key issues.”