East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long has reacted angrily to remarks by David Ervine on Inside Politics, in which he has predicted that the UVF-LVF feud is going to get worse and has revealed that the UVF has stopped debating whether it will follow the IRA into a new mode but was instead intent on “dealing with” the LVF.
Cllr. Long said, “David Ervine’s comments are surely the final straw for the UVF ceasefire. If they are openly and brazenly stating that that they are no longer engaged in moving away from paramilitarism and criminality and instead are intent on escalating their killing spree with the LVF, Peter Hain is now under a moral obligation to declare their ceasefire to be at an end. If he fails to do so he jeopardises the basis of the entire political process.
“The statements made by David Ervine quite clearly show that the IMC’s decision to investigate the UVF-LVF feud and to recommend the suspension of PUP Assembly allowances was completely justified.
“These comments are a clear indication that the organisations involved are not interested in either ending the feud or in progressing peaceful
politics. If, in full knowledge of this, the PUP refuse to condemn and disassociate themselves from the actions and intentions of the UVF, and instead continue to be apologists for murder, terror and intimidation, then they must be held politically accountable for it in precisely the same way that Sinn Fein has been held accountable for the actions of the IRA. His attempt to shift the blame onto intelligence services is eerily reminiscent
of Sinn Fein,s attempts to blame everything on ‘British securocrats’ and will cut no ice with anyone.
“David Ervine has consistently implied that the feud is down to the annoyance of the UVF that the LVF is dealing drugs in the area. This is of
course only a half truth: they are annoyed that anyone would encroach on their criminal empire and their ‘territory’. These are criminal gangs, who
are fighting a turf war on the streets of Belfast and who care nothing for the people who live in the area and don’t care who they hurt in the process. No politician should attempt to make excuses or apologies for that.”