Mrs Long said it was a “huge honour” to take up the post, which she described as both “daunting and exciting in equal measure”.
“I am taking over a party in good health and in good spirits, one ready to grasp the opportunities which lie ahead for all in our society and poised to lead the renewal needed across Northern Ireland. There remains an important job to do, offering people a clear and ambitious alternative vision for the future, while helping create a united community which is progressive, liberal, fair and open.
“Only a party which is itself progressive, liberal, fair and open can truly deliver that. Alliance is that party. The party has a diverse and vibrant membership, but what brings us together are our shared belief our society can thrive because of our differences, not in spite of them.
“I want to reach out to those people and areas who might not be seen as traditionally Alliance, appeal to them and work to build a liberal and progressive future. In our increasingly diverse society, we can let difference divide us or we can celebrate it and make it our strength. As Alliance Leader, I want to do the latter.”