No more new years without functioning Assembly, says Long

This needs to be the last new year without a functioning Assembly capable of delivering real progress, Alliance Leader Naomi Long MEP has said.

Mrs Long said the priority at the start of 2020 was delivery of an Executive, with local parties having only days to deliver results.

“Over the last year more and more people than ever before have rejected the stale politics of orange versus green, and opted to vote for Alliance, for building a united community. I thank each and every person who made that choice, ensuring the party ended the year with an MEP, MP and Councillors in all but one Council area, as well as a strong Assembly team,” she said.

“In voting as they did, they sent a strong message we must have a functioning Assembly so we can deliver for everyone in Northern Ireland. So we can resolve the crisis in the health service, ensure our schools remain at a high standard, fix our crumbling infrastructure, protect people from the welfare mitigation cliff edge and stop the worst effects of an impending Brexit.

“It is up to each of us as political leaders to prioritise reform and restoration of the Assembly. Those reforms, especially of the petition of concern, must ensure not only any restoration is permanent but the institutions are fit for purpose. This New Year must be the last with political paralysis and a dormant Stormont. The public are suffering from the absence of locally accountable political decision-making and it has to stop in the next twelve days – no ifs, no buts and no excuses.

“Alliance is ready to play our part.”