David Ford said: “The government must not turn a blind eye to what went on in Carrickfergus over the weekend.
“These events emanate from the UDA as an organisation, and its ‘so-called’ leaders cannot distance themselves from them.
“We called for the removal of public funding from loyalists with Sean Woodward today. The only thing that paramilitary groups should do in today’s society is disband and set free the local community from their reign of intimidation and terror.
“This money belongs to local people and would be far better spent rebuilding the communities that paramilitaries have destroyed through their actions. The areas worst affected by paramilitarism, and the gangsterism that goes with it, have had their local economies decimated because businesses, and therefore, jobs have been forced away due to racketeering. This cash should go into creating more jobs in these areas and building up local infrastructure to help improve everyone’s standard of living.
“Today’s meeting with the Secretary of State was very productive and we will continue to keep pressure on the NIO and the Executive to act to send out the strongest possible signal to all paramilitaries.”