East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long has welcomed the Secretary of State’s decision to withhold the PUP Assembly allowances for another year following
the latest report from ceasefire watchdog, the Independent Monitoring Commission.
Whilst welcoming the move, she has also called for the Secretary of State to review both the UVF ceasefire and the PUP’s future role in the political talks process, following the most recent upsurge in violence from the UVF, an organisation to which the PUP is linked.
Cllr. Long said, “I am pleased that the Government is taking some action against the PUP, in response to the IMC Report on UVF activity in the early part of this year.
“However, following the spate of murders and gun attacks in my constituency and across Belfast by the UVF in their on-going feud with the LVF, surely it is time that their ceasefire was also reviewed by the Secretary of State. It is unacceptable that an organisation can be considered to be on ceasefire when it has been linked to 2 murders and a number of other attacks, simply because the victims are from the same political and religious background as the perpetrators.
“The failure of the PUP leader, David Ervine, to condemn the actions of the UVF, to which his party is linked, is in stark contrast to his outspoken
condemnation of Peter Hain,s actions. Mr. Ervine, who has refused to comment on murders, shootings and shows of strength by the UVF in his own constituency area in recent weeks, has apparently now regained his voice. What is really ‘unjust’ is not his party allowances being withheld, but
people being shot dead in the streets, and their homes being sprayed with gun fire, yet on this injustice he has been silent.
“Perhaps instead of whingeing about losing money for his party, he would be better served using his voice to tell those involved in the recent violence to go end their paramilitarism completely.”