Alliance Assembly Member, Cllr. Naomi Long has been selected by East Belfast Alliance Association as the party’s candidate for the upcoming Westminster elections.
Speaking after the selection meeting, Cllr. Long stated that she intends to offer the people of East Belfast a positive and fresh voice in contrast to the negativity offered by the Unionist parties.
Cllr. Long said, “I am delighted to have been selected to fight this election for Alliance. Unlike other parties, we have always offered people an alternative vision to the DUP in East Belfast, as we have a distinctive and unique vision, and we will continue to do so.
“If the people of East Belfast want a change from Peter Robinson at this election, the only way to achieve it is for all progressive sections of the community to come together behind a candidate who has a wider vision of community than the narrow tribal view on offer from others and who is prepared to work to make it a reality.
“Over the last number of years, both as a Belfast City Councillor and as an Assembly member, I have proven that I am committed to doing so. If people want a party that can represent the entire community and a representative who will work hard on their behalf, then Alliance offers them the only credible and consistent alternative to the DUP at the Westminster election.
“In my role as a Party Negotiator in the political Talks, I have worked with my colleagues to be a constructive influence within the process, in stark contrast to those who have stood back and criticised from the side-lines.
“We, as a Party, have shown positive leadership and provided creative ideas to move the process forward at every stage. Even in the wake of the Northern Bank robbery, it is the Alliance Party which has already taken the initiative, convening meetings between parties in a serious attempt to find a way forward, whilst others have simply talked about it.
“East Belfast faces many challenges, not least of all economic, and has been hit hard by job losses, particularly in the manufacturing sector. However, if we are to attract inward investment, we need to do more than complain about decline in East Belfast.
“We need to create and realise opportunities and sell a positive vision of East Belfast to potential investors. The people of East Belfast are our greatest asset in that challenge. We need a new generation of politicians, prepared to make things work and I believe that both the Alliance team and I are up to that challenge.”