David Ford said: “It is disgraceful that Reg Empey is failing to be constructive on the justice talks. He is cynically using the current impasse to play unionist power games at the expense of the peace process.
“How would the Ulster Unionist voters feel if it was their party that brought down the Assembly due to their cheap, negative games?
“Reg Empey says he has not been involved in talks, yet he received an open invitation to talks from Alliance last summer and has failed to take that opportunity. Our invite to him has been repeated has been numerous times.
“While Alliance is working constructively to protect the peace process, the UUP seems intent on taking a hammer to it in a pathetic attempt to appear strong. I believe that Reg’s attitude is putting the short-term interests of the Ulster Unionists ahead of stability of our society.”