Naomi Long said: “The DUP are fond of reminding people of the nightmare of having Gerry Kelly as Justice Minister, but following these comments, the thought of Iris Robinson as Education Minister is also a nightmare for many local people.
“I am totally disgusted by Iris Robinson’s comments. There is an obvious demand for integrated schools in Northern Ireland. Does she wish to deny local parents the chance to send their children to these schools?
“Iris Robinson’s comments underline a real problem which will affect everyone in Northern Ireland when the next Executive is formed. The DUP do not talk to Sinn Fein and, by the nature of these remarks, their stance on community relations does not seem to be softening. If this is the type of person we will have as Education Minister in the next Executive, then how can we hope for any progress in building a united community?
“Her comments show the real need for people who want to a shared society to come out and vote to protect integrated education.
“One billion pounds is wasted every year on segregation in Northern Ireland. By having more integrated schools, we can cut this figure dramatically. By ending segregation throughout our society we can deliver value for money and invest extra cash in key services for local people.”