First Minister issue is a phoney war says Alliance

North Down Alliance MLA, Stephen Farry, has rounded on unionist politicians who have called for the resignation of the Secretary of State, Owen Patterson, over his remarks on the prospect of a Deputy First Minister by stressing that this is a phoney war far removed from the day to day concerns of most people in Northern Ireland.

Dr Stephen Farry MLA stated: “This is a time when the people of Northern Ireland are crying out for positive leadership. With so many economic and financial challenges facing Northern Ireland, it is critical that the next election is about the real issues not some phoney war. We have had enough of the politics of fear, it is time for the politics of hope.

“In this context, the continued sniping from the UUP and TUV regarding the prospect of a Sinn Fein First Minister is way off the mark. In particular, the UUP should know better.

“The reality is that the posts of First Minister and Deputy First Minister are entirely equal in status, power and responsibility. The only difference is in name alone. I don’t believe that the post-election balance of parties would entail a Sinn Fein First Minister after the election, but if it did, it should not make one bit of difference. There would be no change in Northern Ireland’s constitutional status, and Royal Visits would proceed as normal.

“The continued obsession of certain parties and politicians with this issue reflects the bankrupt politics of the past.”


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