David Ford said: “There is now agreement on the community relations strategy and real progress on agreeing a justice policy programme. This has not been an easy decision to make but a decision has finally been reached. We have had much discussion within our party on this and now that our two conditions have been met, we can nominate for the post of Justice Minister.
“On Tuesday, the DUP and Sinn Fein announced that they had agreed the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration policy after a two and a half year delay. This is the first ever community relations strategy agreed in any period of devolution we have had in Northern Ireland. This did not happen when the UUP and SDLP were in charge. I believe that progress this week is due to Alliance pressure.
“Yesterday, we received assurances on the proposals that Alliance has put forward for the devolution of Justice. It is important that when devolution takes place there is agreement on policies, so that devolution is seen to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.
“Alliance Party Council has recommended that we are now in a position to nominate a candidate for Justice Minister. We will be meeting with the First and Deputy First Ministers and a further announcement regarding the identity of the Minister will be made in the near future.”