Anna Lo MLA said: “I am bitterly disappointed by the opposition of the SDLP and Sinn Fein to placing good relations on a par with equality for community planning considerations at the new Councils.
“The SDLP must explain why they think good relations matters less than equality. They must also justify why they are so opposed to this proposal that they believed it could not be decided by a majority vote, and so they had to submit a petition of concern.
“We must move on from the idea that equality and good relations considerations are separate and competing ideas. We must accept that they are actually complementary and should be placed on equal footing. They are part of the same package that aims to ensure that all citizens in Northern Ireland are treated in a way that respects human rights and promotes tolerance, sharing and integration.”