Ford criticises Government for lack of action

ALLIANCE Leader David Ford has called for a plan of action from the Secretary of State and the Irish Foreign Minister after they meet today. Mr Ford also strongly criticised the British Government for failing to engage with the Northern Ireland parties after the Prime Minister postponed the Assembly elections.

Speaking after an Alliance delegation met with US envoy Richard Haass, Mr Ford said: “Sadly, it is easier to get a meeting with Mr Haass than it is with the British Government.

“Tony Blair was prepared to postpone our elections and throw us into limbo, but he is not prepared to deal with the problems left in the wake of that decision. Although he has invested so much in the process personally, he now runs the risk of seeing it unravel.

“It is absolutely essential that politicians get down to business before the summer, as there is a very real danger of limbo becoming an ongoing political vacuum that makes violence on our streets more likely. The signs of that are already starting to appear.

“No-one in Northern Ireland wants that situation to develop. It is now vital that the two Governments quickly produce a plan of action to get talks between all parties under way.”

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