Long to submit nomination papers for Alliance Leader position

Naomi Long MLA has signalled her intention to submit nomination papers for the position of Alliance Leader.

With nominations open until 5pm on Wednesday, East Belfast MLA Mrs Long is currently the only person who has declared for the post. A new Leader will be selected at a special Alliance Party Council on October 26, where they must receive 50 per cent plus one of the available votes.

Mrs Long said if elected as Leader, she wanted to use the opportunity to refresh, renew and re-energise the party, building on the work of David Ford.

“Since David made the decision to step down as Leader after 15 very successful years at the helm, I have been heartened and encouraged by the support I have received from colleagues, the wider membership and many others across Northern Ireland to put my name forward as a leadership candidate. David has left a legacy of a growing, diverse and progressive membership, reflected in the broad based support which I have received for my nomination, including members and elected representatives from right across Northern Ireland.

“If elected, I will not only be the first woman to lead the party, but it will also mark a generational change, as I will also be the first leader younger than Alliance itself. As such, I am conscious that, while the core values of the Alliance Party are still as relevant as ever, we need to be willing to renew our message, refresh our vision and re-energise not just our current members but a public growing increasingly weary of what often passes for politics here.

“I believe Alliance is ready to step up to that challenge. With the support of Party Council, I would be honoured to have the opportunity to guide that process forward as Leader.”

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