Dr Stephen Farry MLA stated: “The SDLP are getting increasingly irrational and hysterical in their onslaught on Alliance. Their throwing the toys from the pram tantrums does little for their credibility.
“Alliance has always judged every issue on its merits, consistent with our values and policies. At times, we will vote with all or none of the other parties depending on the matter at hand. Unsurprisingly, this does not mean we agree with the SDLP all the time. But the paranoid SDLP see conspiracies everywhere.
“Dolores Kelly now seems to be rather exercised by our votes on a Bill of Rights in the Assembly.
“On the Bill of Rights motion from Sinn Fein, we made clear that we supported the concept of a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights and also the inclusion of some social and economic rights but that we had major concerns with how hard and far this agenda was being pushed by the Human Rights Commission and some political parties.
“Therefore, we abstained on the substantive question. If the SDLP had bothered to recall the position that Alliance has adopted over the past ten years, including in particular during the Bill of Rights Forum, they would not have been surprised by this.
“Indeed, such is the SDLP’s paranoia that they attack the Alliance Party even after we supported their particular amendment on the issue of criticising the NIO for limiting the scope of the current Bill of Rights consultation. We agree on this. We disagree elsewhere. This is the essence of democracy. The SDLP need to get over it.”