Commenting on Tony Blair, David Ford said: “People in Northern Ireland appreciate the massive amount of energy that he put into the search for a settlement, and in particular for the great achievement that was the Good Friday Agreement, in the early part of his premiership.
“Sadly, he may also be remembered for issues surrounding the Iraq war; however, the progress made in Northern Ireland will be regarded by many as his most positive achievement.”
Commenting on new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, David Ford said: “It is clear that the new Prime Minister will not have the same sense of personal engagement on Northern Ireland that his predecessor did; however, that is as it should be.
“It’s now up to local politicians in the Assembly to sort out Northern Ireland’s problems and not to run to London or Dublin.
“There is however the outstanding issue of the financial package, which was promised to Northern Ireland on devolution. I have major doubts whether the new Chancellor will agree to any significant scheme of further handouts; however, Alliance will continue to put the case for investment in order that we can reduce the level of cash wasted on segregation.
“The case must be made that we need to invest to save – The Executive must put the begging bowl away.”