Stewart Dickson MLA said: “These tribal pacts are anti-democratic. It is not up to Sinn Fein or the SDLP to decide who will be the MP for certain constituencies. The public are not fooled by these shabby little backroom deals and have rejected them in recent elections.
“This type of sectarian headcount is the politics of the past. The public wish their representatives to take their constituency forward, not look to the past.
“If the SDLP do step aside in these constituencies, then voters should be aware that they will be left voiceless in Westminster by a Sinn Fein representative. I would urge voters to pick Alliance candidates who will follow in Naomi Long’s steps by being a strong advocate for their constituency in the House of Commons.
“I hope that the SDLP will reject this offer, or questions will be asked of their commitment to a shared future.”