David Ford MLA said: “As a Councillor, MLA and MP, Naomi Long has presented a positive message to the people of East Belfast. She has been a strong voice for her constituency on issues such as the Kincora allegations, animal welfare, air passenger duty and securing increased transparency of political donations. She has continued to put the needs and interests of the people ahead of party.
“Now the DUP secret is out. Now we know that the number one target for the DUP is not a seat held by a republican. Now we know it is East Belfast.
“While the DUP want to take East Belfast back, Naomi is working to take it forward. She has been a strong advocate for everyone in her constituency, but the DUP want to turn the election into a tribal headcount. They appear to be only interested in one section of the constituency.
“Despite all the rhetoric coming from the DUP conference, they don’t choose MPs: the people do.
“In 2010, in a fair election, people in East Belfast chose Naomi to be their MP. After another five years of hard work by Naomi and the Alliance team, I am sure East Belfast will re-elect her in May 2015.”