David Ford, Leader of Alliance, has criticised the publishers of leaflets being distributed across several constituencies in the name of ‘Concerned
Citizens for a Shared Future’. He said that they are part of a dirty tricks campaign designed to help the UUP, and nothing to do with Alliance or the cause of a shared future.
David Ford said:
“Many people have told us that they have received a leaflet printed in Alliance colours of yellow and blue, headed ‘Thinking of Voting Alliance’.
It is clearly intended to confuse Alliance supporters.
“The publishers hide behind a PO Box number and urge Alliance supporters to vote for the Ulster Unionists, wrongly claiming that the UUP supports
Alliance ideals such as a shared future. There is also a graph that gives the wrong figures for party support at the Assembly election.
“It is laughable that the Ulster Unionists claim to want a shared future. It was David Trimble, as First Minister, who blocked progress on a community relations strategy for over a year. The strategy was eventually published under direct rule, entitled ‘A Shared Future’.
“This leaflet is clearly a sign of desperation, designed to benefit the UUP.
“Alliance is investigating the publication of this leaflet. We have established that the PO Box is registered to a design company on the Holywood Road in East Belfast. This same company has printed a number of leaflets for the Ulster Unionists this year.
“Despite this, I understand that UUP staff first claimed not to know the company and then told a journalist that this was merely ‘a bizarre
coincidence’. The company has made the same statement, according to the Belfast Telegraph. This simply does not wash.
“This leaflet has been distributed in at least six constituencies. Given the scale of the operation, there is a strong likelihood that those responsible are in breach of the criminal law regarding electoral
“Alliance has made a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission and I have also asked the Police Service to investigate this issue.
“There is no reason why any Alliance supporter should vote for the UUP in either election on Thursday. Alliance alone is genuinely committed to building the centre ground: I urge our supporters to stand firm.”