David Ford stated: “The refusal to discuss justice issues with the Assembly members who could be taking responsibility for them until very late in the process indicates to the people of Northern Ireland that the Government is either not serious about restoring devolution, or not serious about the participation of all the parties in the process.
“The Government set the 24 November deadline, and justice is perhaps the main issue of difficulty. As the Government has retained responsibility for justice but has expressed its desire to see local politicians take over those powers, it is essential the Government and all the parties put all available ideas on the table as soon as possible.
“Both inside and outside Stormont committee meetings, we will be demanding clarification from the Government about precisely what its attitude is towards all-party talks leading to restoration of devolved government by its own deadline. The prospects for stable government based on an extremist carve-up or without discussing the issues fully is bleak indeed.
“The people of Northern Ireland are demanding that local politicians get the job done – but the Government must enable us to do so.”