Stephen Farry stated:
“Danny Kinahan entered Assembly politics decrying negative politics. His innocence didn’t last for long.
“The reason that David Ford refers to the DUP and Sinn Fein as now the ‘relative extremes’ is because they have actually travelled on a journey over the past decade and have recently renewed their partnership in government through the Hillsborough Agreement. Alliance has no illusions over the fragility of relationships, but it would be churlish not to recognise the progress that has been made.
” Alliance has not chased any post in government. We are only ambitious to deliver upon our policies and to see government reflect our values. Alliance has sought progress on a shared future and around the policies for any Department of Justice before agreeing to nominate any candidate. Working for the common good of Northern Ireland has always been and remains a core principle of the party.
“Instead Mr Kinahan should to reflect on where the UUP finds itself today. He pushed the boundaries of acceptable debate in comparing the actions of the Education Minister with the actions of the Nazis. The irony of the UUP being linked in the European Parliament to a number of far-right parties seems to be lost on him.
“The UUP had a proud record of working for the good of Northern Ireland and taking risks for progress. Now such is their hatred of the DUP, that they can only carp from the sidelines. In their opposition to the devolution of policing and justice, successive UUP speakers ended up parroting the claims of Jim Allister and reactionary unionism. It is the UUP that is now moving to the extreme of the Northern Ireland political spectrum.”