Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “Sections of this speech shows the SDLP’s and Margaret Ritchie’s true colours. Underneath all their talk, they care little about a shared future and are obsessed with a united Ireland.
“In her conference speech Margaret Ritchie merely paid flippant lip service to one of the most important issues facing our community, tackling division in Northern Ireland.
“Let nobody be in any doubt of the SDLP’s true priorities. Any future comments on a shared future will sound hollow after this bizarre utterance from Margaret Ritchie.
“She has damaged any credibility that the SDLP ever had on a shared future. The only party that makes ending segregation its top priority is Alliance, and people will remember these comments from the SDLP.”