Alliance Leader David Ford said: “I am very pleased to welcome Paula into the Alliance Party. It’s great that exciting politicians like her realise that Alliance is the only genuine party of a shared future.
“In recent times we have seen politicians from the SDLP joining us and now we have someone who was seen as a rising star in the Ulster Unionist Party coming to us. People are finding a strong and clear voice in Alliance and that bodes very well for the future.”
New Alliance Party member Paula Bradshaw stated: “I am very excited about starting this new chapter with what has proved to be the only party truly committed to mainstream, non-sectarian politics in Northern Ireland.
“I would like to thank the many people who have offered me so much support over the past month or so. They persuaded me that, whatever I did, I must continue in politics, and to try to make politics work for people who currently feel excluded from it. When I sought a vehicle to do that, the Alliance Party was the natural place to turn.
“The Alliance Party was in some ways always a natural home for me, but when I became involved in politics a decade or so ago there were those who considered it did not speak to people in inner-city communities. Over the past few years, thanks to the work of the likes of Naomi Long and Anna Lo, that perception has altered dramatically. Certainly people have come to me telling me that they are considering voting Alliance for the first time in the forthcoming elections as it is the only party whose representatives truly speak to them – and I found I could only agree with their reasoning.
“I look forward to joining David Ford and his team at this exciting time in the party’s history, and to pursuing the type of politics which is about the people we are elected to serve – and which is about the whole of Northern Ireland, not just certain sections of it.”