Alliance Deputy Leader and East Belfast General Election candidate Naomi Long has said having Alliance representation at Westminster is vital to show Northern Ireland is continuing to move forward.
Speaking at the launch of Alliance’s General Election *candidate launch* in the Park Avenue Hotel today (Monday), Mrs Long said her victory in East Belfast in 2010 was an important marker for progressive politics but the momentum and potential it created needed to be built on in the forthcoming poll.
“The jubilation following the 2010 Westminster election, where East Belfast, Northern Ireland and the entire centre ground took a step forward, has been somewhat dulled by the seemingly constant crises and talks in local politics, the lack of political leadership from other parties to deliver progress on difficult issues and the deliberately orchestrated flag protests, which have poisoned relations between communities.
“These are just some of the reasons it is vital Alliance is returned to Westminster, to demonstrate that amidst the negativity and political entrenchment, there are fresh, progressive voices in East Belfast and wider in Northern Ireland: voices that promote evidence-based policies and challenge anti-European rhetoric, which support equality and human rights, and which fight consistently against the Government’s cuts agenda.
“Since 2010, Alliance has proven that our pre-election promises are actually delivered, unlike other parties. In 2015, Alliance will do the same and show people we want to continue taking Northern Ireland forward.”
Alliance Leader David Ford MLA added that the party’s candidates were the representation of the new Northern Ireland.
“Alliance has a diversity of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and political outlook unlike any other party. But what brings us all together is the belief Northern Ireland deserves more – a shared community.
“That is what Alliance MPs will bring to Westminster. They will step forward and I encourage voters across Northern Ireland to step forward with them.”