David Ford said: “The logic of the SDLP’s position taken in the Assembly today is that they should now pull out of the Executive. Having supported Alliance in voting against the draft Programme for Government before Christmas they have now voted against the final Programme.
“The Alliance Party has been very clear throughout, we would not vote for a Programme for Government that does not focus on tackling divisions, delivering prosperity and ending the run down of our public services. What we have heard from the Executive parties is a random selection of sound bites based on process rather than substance.
“Throughout today’s debate, the DUP and Sinn Fein members poured their fire on Alliance MLAs. Presumably we can now expect them to do the same on the SDLP.
“Despite Margaret Richie’s achievements as a Minister, it is clear that both the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP are in total disarray. With the entire Assembly group having voted against their Minister, the SDLP must now take action.”