Alliance Executive spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has said the fact a UDA leader who heads up an East Belfast community group has not stepped down is not a “distraction” as stated by the First Minister but rather “deeply concerning”.
Mr Dickson was speaking after Arlene Foster refused to back calls for Dee Stitt, chief executive officer of Charter NI, to resign from his position. Although she said she regretted Mr Stitt had become a “distraction,” she could not tell the organisation what to do in relation to employees.
“A self-confessed paramilitary commander not only being in charge of a community organisation but one which has recently received nearly £2 million from the public purse to fund its activities is not merely “distracting” but rather deeply concerning,” said Mr Dickson.
“It is disappointing the First Minister does not share this view. It poses a number of questions not only about her stance but the entire Executive’s anti-paramilitary action plan, which continues to suffer major credibility issues.”