The East Antrim MLA was speaking after Peter Robinson said he had decided not to attend the first day of talks convened by the Secretary of State, scheduled to start on Thursday, referring to the first day as a ‘circus act’.
Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is absolutely irresponsible for the First Minister of Northern Ireland to write-off these talks as he has so blatantly done. The real work as he calls it starts from day one, not from when he cares enough to enter the process. His comments are even more surprising considering he called for the talks to take place.
“The DUP and Sinn Fein have led Northern Ireland almost to the brink of financial collapse, proving time and time again to prefer stalling tactics and protecting their own political interests to putting the needs of everyone across Northern Ireland first.
“These talks provide us with a real opportunity to find lasting solutions, to finally move past our divided past and into a prosperous future. David Ford believes this starts on day one which is why he has cleared his ministerial diary – it’s a shame Peter Robinson can’t give the people of Northern Ireland the same attention, they deserve better.”