David Ford said: “I had a productive meeting with Owen Paterson and I raised with him my fear that reckless cuts to public services will place Northern Ireland into deeper economic difficulties. To deliver sustainable growth in our economy we must build our private sector and hasty cuts to the public sector will do real damage.
“Much progress had been made in creating stability here and I hope that Owen Paterson takes a neutral approach even though his party is linked with the UUP. Mr Paterson must ensure that the progress made here in recent times can be continued by having good relations with all parties. I also discussed with him the publication of the Saville Report and I welcome his committment to publication as soon as possible.”