Foster’s anti-mediator stance shows lack of concern for NI, says Long

Alliance Leader Naomi Long has said DUP Leader Arlene Foster is living in a dream world if she genuinely still believes Northern Ireland’s growing political problems can be solved without the aid of an outside mediator.

Mrs Long was responding to comments made by the DUP Leader following her meeting with the Secretary of State on Wednesday, in which she made clear her objections to the use of a facilitator.

“Arlene Foster’s comments are either extremely arrogant, or she is showing a complete lack of understanding, which is shocking for her role in this process. For almost 600 days Northern Ireland has been without a government, during which our economy, public services and infrastructure have faced severe challenges – challenges which grow worse every day,” she said.

“If, as she says, Arlene Foster and the DUP are responsible for setting up and managing any future talks process, then where is it? Where is the detailed agenda and timescale for tackling the many issues that still divide us? Where is their drive and determination to restore devolution? Exactly where it has been for the past 20 months – no-where, which is why it was left to Alliance to convene the first meeting since January.

“It seems rather than delivering for the good of everyone, the DUP is not only happy with the status quo, but happy to control the UK Government through their on-going supply and demand agreement.”

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