The South Belfast MLA stated: “After some hopes last week we are now hearing that the two main parties have still not agreed to form an Executive, despite the fact that they have proposals delivering consensus on their supposed key issues such as language and culture right in front of them.
“The parties’ refusal to take responsibility for government, not least in Health and Social Care, shows a callous disregard to those who rely on services. Issues such as missed targets and long waiting lists have direct consequences on people’s quality of life, yet still we see parties putting their own narrow sectional interests ahead of the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people.
“It is simply unacceptable for any party now to refuse to enter the Executive with the deal which they know is set out in front of them. We should be very clear now that no party is being excluded from power, but we cannot wait around for those who choose to exclude themselves.
“I agree entirely with the SDLP and others when they say there is now no reason not to form an Executive. It is time to move on to appointing Ministers from among those parties willing to do so, for the sake of the many not the few. Improving and reforming key public services cannot wait.”