David Ford stated: “This is another appalling attempt by people to take the law into their own hands. It must be roundly condemned by all democrats.
“It now appears that UVF members carried out this appalling act. This raises serious questions about the judgement of Sir Reg Empey in linking up the Ulster Unionists with representatives of that organisation in the Assembly.
“People simply cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands — and democrats must be able to condemn and oppose such actions without any hint of hypocrisy.
“Political leaders must recognise that these appalling incidents are not remotely ‘political’. They are evidence of common gangsterism. That common gangsterism must be wiped from the political map forever, not given credence by people claiming to be ‘democrats’.”