Speaking in the Assembly, David Ford stated: “It is easy for anyone to take cheap shots at the Secretary of State. But whining for the cameras does not constitute progress. What we should be doing is looking at the failures of the parties with responsibility for leading the process.
“Two parties were heavily involved in the weeks leading up to St Andrews, but have failed to meet the timescales required by the outcome of those discussions. Another two parties said they supported the St Andrews Agreement – so why can they not get on with it and do the work necessary? Instead, they waste time on irrelevant motions.
“During the last attempts at devolution people saw no attempts to deal with difficulties in health and education, no efforts to clean up the environment, no potential for dealing with the mess that is public transport here. Most of all, they saw the ‘Shared Future’ document left on the shelf, and no movement towards a more integrated society.
“The credibility of those leading the process – those who lead it now and those who led it during four years of unsuccessful attempts at stable power-sharing – depends on meeting a difficult agenda and taking difficult decisions. There is no sign of any of the parties in the Programme for Government Committee living up to that.”