David Ford stated: “We were pleased not to be having to get to know a new Secretary of State at this late stage, but we remain unimpressed that he has not heeded our warnings on the practicalities of operating the Assembly.
“The challenge for the parties is to cooperate constructively in making this work, and there is no excuse for them failing to do so.
“However, the cause has not been helped by failure to set a time to get round the table and agree how we are going to establish an Assembly that works once and for all.
“Specifically, there has been no discussion of improving collective decision making, no discussion of how policy matters can best be dealt with in the absence of a First and Deputy First Minister, and no discussion of how to incorporate into the new arrangements ‘Shared Future’
policies including the abolition of institutionalised sectarianism.
“We have not been given the best possible chance to make this process work, but we in Alliance will continue to be radical and constructive in our attempts to make it work.”