Ford calls on Foster to clarify her stance on UDA endorsement of DUP

Alliance MLA David Ford has called on Arlene Foster to clarify whether she accepts an endorsement for her party from the UDA-linked UPRG group.

Mr Ford was speaking after the UPRG magazine The Loyalist said it “would strongly urge a vote for Emma Little-Pengelly” in South Belfast. The former Justice Minister said it was particularly troubling, given this week’s killing of a man in a packed shopping centre car park, believed to be part of an ongoing UDA feud.

“Arlene Foster needs to make clear if her party accepts an endorsement by a group closely connected to the UDA. The electorate, particularly in South Belfast where this endorsement was given, deserve to know.

“It is bad enough to have paramilitaries backing a political party at any time but it is especially troubling in this case, given it comes in the same week as a murder which is believed to be part of a UDA feud. It is now 2017 – paramilitaries should not even exist, never mind be giving ringing endorsements of political candidates.

“Questions remain over the Social Investment Fund – many thought it as nothing more than a paramilitary slush fund, with a particular emphasis to the UDA. This endorsement of the DUP by that same group does nothing to dispel those views.”

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