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.”