Responding to a Belfast Telegraph survey amongst unionists MLAs shown that they were unwilling to play a role were Sinn Fein to take the First Minister’s post following any future Assembly election, Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long said: “The Ulster Unionists’ talks with the Orange Order and DUP in an attempt to create a pan-unionist front proves the tribalism that still exists at the heart of that party. It proves that UCUNF’s claim to be a progressive, non-sectarian alternative has no credibility whatsoever. That project would appear to be dead in the water.
“When added to the statements of prominent DUP and UUP MLAs that they would not serve as Deputy First Minister were there to be a Sinn Fein First Minister it also shows an unwillingness to accept the will of the public. This is both insulting and anti-democratic. It also shows their lack of commitment to engaging with non-unionists on an equal footing.”