David Ford said: “These parties are tying themselves in knots over the issue. They are doing themselves no favours and a calm approach would serve them better.
“Devolution of justice is essential in tackling and defeating dissident terrorists. We need to get to work on agreeing a policy programme for the Department so that any Minister can hit the ground running and deliver immediately.
“Some other negative individuals outside Stormont want to cause problems in the justice devolution process and they must not be allowed to succeed. These fringe extremists have nothing to offer Northern Ireland and people can see through their cynical tactics.
“If the comments this week from Jeffrey Donaldson and Michelle Gildernew were to be taken to their conclusion, they would serious damage the operational independence of the Chief Constable and do absolutely nothing to enhance public confidence.
“Anyone who thinks that the operational independence of the Chief Constable should be infringed upon is acting in a dictatorial and deeply sinister manner.”