Dickson says Unionist politicians should work on behalf of everybody and not just one section

Alliance Chief Whip Stewart Dickson has said that all politicians should be working on behalf of everybody and not just one section. His comments follow the first meeting of the Unionist Forum which has been set up to only look at issues affecting the Unionist community.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “Politicians should be working on behalf of everybody in Northern Ireland and not just one section. Somebody should remind Peter Robinson that he is the First Minister for Northern Ireland and not just the First Minister of Unionism. Mike Nesbitt by co-chairing this group must admit that he has given up on his attempt to make the UUP appeal to all people and not just Unionists.

“This tribal form of politics will only further cement divisions and will not help deliver a shared future.

“I find it ironic that the DUP and UUP have set up this group to look at issues of flags and identity when they refused Alliance requests for these issues to be included in the revised Cohesion, Sharing and Integration strategy, which led to us walking away from the talks on producing this document.

“Peter Robinson has said that the document is waiting to be published, even though I have doubts on the quality of what the DUP and Sinn Fein have produced, this is the type of politics we need to see and not the tribal politics of a Unionist forum.

“What we need to see is a comprehensive mechanism to deal with the legacy of the past. Yet the DUP and UUP have been dragging their feet on this issue and even voted against an amendment to an Alliance motion that would have involved the Irish Government in any such mechanism. All political parties are going to have to come and work together, but by only working in different silos we will not achieve anything.”


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