Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long has dismissed Unionist complaints about the make-up of the policing board, saying that the real issue was Unionist silence about the presence of a member of a party linked to paramilitarism.
Naomi Long stated: “Unionist suggestions that they will not take their seats on the Policing Board are nothing but bluster. The fact is two of the ‘independents’ are members of Unionist parties. Far from ‘independent’, the extra members have created nothing but a quango of
politicians that either won’t or can’t get elected by the people. What way is that to earn public confidence?
“The only thing they should have to complain about is the presence of a member whose party is linked directly to paramilitarism – but since it is Loyalist paramilitarism and not Republican paramilitarism, Unionists have chosen to say nothing.
“So yet again Unionist doublethink and hypocrisy on Loyalist paramilitarism has been exposed. Unionists were prepared to walk out over Sinn Féin representation, but PUP representation raises not a peep.
“It is time Unionist leaders came clean about their ambivalence to Loyalist paramilitarism, and about their failure to recognize that it is the fundamental cause of the woes of Loyalist communities.”