Mrs Long was speaking after leading an Alliance delegation to meet Theresa May in Downing Street. She said she had raised a number of issues with the Prime Minister, including the impending deal between the Conservatives and the DUP, and the lack of transparency in political donations here.
“The Prime Minister sought to reassure us of the neutrality of her Government, however, while that was welcome, actions speak louder than words. It is one thing to say you’re impartial but another thing entirely to demonstrate it, both during the talks and after them. I prefer to judge people on what they do, not what they say behind closed doors in meetings.
“The Government is now reliant on the DUP for its continued existence and so it hard to see how this would not impact upon their approach to the current talks and, indeed, future challenges. But I will judge the government fairly on its actions.
“The first opportunity to demonstrate that neutrality and independence is to deliver on the issue of donor transparency, bringing local parties into line with the rest of the UK. That’s of particular importance in light of the enhanced role the DUP now have in Government and will demonstrate the degree of independence the Secretary of State can exercise.
“We also restated our view of wanting to ensure there is a good deal for Northern Ireland, both in these negotiations and from Brexit, and one which is in the interests of the entire community. We reiterated our willingness to continue working in good faith to help restore the devolved institutions, because we truly believe they are the best way to ensure the people of Northern Ireland are protected against the effects of Brexit and a potential DUP-Conservative Government, among other issues.”