Alliance Leader demands progress at talks, stating local people have been ‘let down’

Alliance Leader David Ford has demanded progress in St Andrews and has told the tribal parties not to let the people of Northern Ireland down again. His comments come before the start of the talks at St Andrews tomorrow to break the current political deadlock.

David Ford said: “We are not going to let the tribal parties let the people of Northern Ireland down again. People are totally fed up with the lack of progress on restoring devolution. Northern Ireland’s politicians are being presented with a final opportunity to get the Assembly up and running again.

“There are three challenges which the parties face. First, are Sinn Fein prepared to fully support the police service and uphold the rule of law?

“Second, in light of the positive IMC report, are the DUP prepared to take the leap of faith into power-sharing government?

“And finally, are all parties prepared to make the necessary changes to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement can work effectively for everyone?

“People want local politicians to sort out the rates and tap tax crises. Progress must be made to ensure that we can solve these problems as soon as possible for everyone in Northern Ireland.

“I have had considerable contact with Ministers and officials from both governments in the past few weeks, and I believe that 24 November is a serious deadline in their eyes.

“Alliance has worked hard with everyone, for everyone. We have played an important role in the Preparation for Government Committee and in all Assembly debates.

“We are not prepared to let all our hard work go to waste. We are going to St Andrews with one key goal in mind – restoring devolution. We are hopeful that progress will be made at St Andrews and beyond it, and we will do everything in our power to secure a deal.

“Devolution is a valuable prize and the people of Northern Ireland deserve no less.”


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