David Ford said: “If Sinn Fein and the DUP cannot resolve their own crisis and nominate tomorrow, people will rightly think they are both unfit for government. Even if they sort out this mess, serious doubts will remain about their ability.
“Being in government is a massive responsibility. Sinn Fein are privileged that the public put them in a position to be in government. They should not be abusing this position and using it as a cheap bargaining chip. They should not abuse the trust of the public by putting the Assembly at risk for one of their grubby publicity stunts.
“The Stormont Executive has delivered nothing of significance since devolution day. Now Sinn Fein think that they can get away with playing petty politics with the future of the Assembly. Sinn Fein’s threat to devolution and to stability in Northern Ireland will not be forgotten by local people.
“Three weeks ago, the DUP and Sinn Fein were telling potential investors from the US that life here was perfect and that we had a stable government. What are they now playing at?
“In the first year of devolution, all that the DUP and Sinn Fein gave us was chuckling. Now all they provide is sham-fighting. People don’t want either of these things. They simply want real delivery, real improvements and a real shared future.”