Ritchie’s position could become unsustainable

Alliance Leader David Ford has said that the position of the Social Development Minister could become unsustainable if DUP and Sinn Fein Ministers block her moves to claw back the public money from the UDA.

Speaking to ‘The Observer’, David Ford said: ‘If she is blocked by other ministers around the table at the Northern Ireland Executive, then there is no point in continuing in government.’

‘You can’t surely sit around a table with people who are trying to prevent you from doing your job. If they do that, the only alternative is to resign and join a new opposition that can give the people of Northern Ireland a real choice at the next election,’ he added.

Ford said that the ‘bizarre debacle’ at Stormont had been inevitable given the disparate coalition in power. ‘You had a situation last week where DUP and Sinn Fein ministers were ganging up to get at Margaret Ritchie. This was bound to happen given the bizarre nature of government. In any normal society, a row like this between ministers would lead to a constitutional crisis.’

NB Follow the link to read the full story. David Ford believes that the direct quotes are accurate, but do not entirely justify the phrase “challenged last night to resign” in the opening paragraph.

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