Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long has hit out at a “swing towards extremism” by the UUP in Castlereagh and across East Belfast, as demonstrated by recent actions in the council chamber and local comments on the peace process and law and order.
Cllr Long said: “It is sad to watch the UUP lurch to the right, both in its actions and words as it desperately tries to chase the DUP. In Castlereagh, its failure to support power sharing with non-unionists, coupled with their petty and vindictive motion attacking the Parades Commission, shows the UUP is an extremist and sectarian party following a narrow tribal agenda.
“However, it is not only in the Council that we have seen the swing to extremism, but also in comments by UUP representatives across East Belfast, with their unjustifiable criticism of the police on issues like dealing with counterfeit goods, or slamming the PSNI’s attempts to enforce the law on marching.
“On the wider front, in contrast to the constructive role played by Alliance in the talks where many of our proposals are likely to be incorporated into any potential deal, we have had a daily diatribe of negativity from Sir Reg Empey. He is rapidly becoming a whinging windbag with a severe dose of sour grapes – undoubtedly caused by no-one being really interested in what he has to say.”