Ford says ‘back off’ and let Ritchie make conflict transformation decision

Alliance Leader David Ford has stated that the decision on conflict transformation funding lies solely with Margaret Ritchie and he call for people to back off and let her get on with her job. His comments come as it emerged that her CTI funding decision was delayed due apparently to ‘legal’ reasons.

David Ford said: “I very much regret that we are unlikely to have an early statement from the Minister of Social Development on funding for the conflict transformation initiative, apparently for ‘legal reasons’.

“60 days after the Minister set the deadline, we continue to see illegal activity linked to the UDA. It appears that the organisation is thumbing its collective nose at Margaret Ritchie.

“Alliance believed that the 60-day deadline was reasonable and appropriate to allow the UDA to show that it was genuine about moving forward. However, it now looks as if an unholy coalition of vested interests, including some within the Executive, is trying to blunt the Minister’s determination.

“Responsibility for this decision properly lies with the Minister for Social Development. Its time that other people backed off and let her get on with her job.”


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