Alliance has criticised the SDLP for not backing the compromise motion on the status of the IRA ceasefire this afternoon. Mr Ford said this was the second time* the SDLP had failed to back a moderate motion that put pressure on terrorists.
Mr Ford said: “It would appear that the SDLP is prepared to criticise terrorism, but actions speak louder than words, and the SDLP’s action in the Assembly has been hard to see.
“The SDLP also claim to believe in partnership. Yet it fails to work with other parties, arrogantly proclaiming its opposition to violence that even its own members suffer, yet in denial about recognising and acting on the serious problems that exist from both unionist and nationalist paramilitaries.”
“Alliance’s amendment removed the implicit UUP suggestion of guilt on the IRA’s part, and also took loyalist violence into account.”
“It is unacceptable for the SDLP to sit on its hands and ignore this. It could have been a united call for the Secretary of State to make a statement on the status of the ceasefires. Instead, a bizarre coalition of the SDLP and DUP ensured that Sinn Fein and the PUP were given cover from any potential statement from the Secretary of State on the status of the IRA and UVF ceasefires.”
- Notes to editors: The first instance was the SDLP’s failure to back the Alliance motion on an amnesty for terrorists on the run being linked to the issue of paramilitary exiles.