Naomi Long stated: “David Ervine’s comments cannot be seen as anything other than a threat of violence if the Governments pursue more cross-border cooperation from November. This is totally unacceptable and requires immediate comment from his Ulster Unionist Assembly colleagues.
“More than two months after the Ulster Unionist merger with UVF representatives in the Assembly, we see absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any ‘winding down’ of violent activity. What we see is precisely the reverse. The Ulster Unionists have succeeded only in giving Loyalist paramilitaries the exposure to make threats against the democratic process.
“With the UDA last week, and the UVF this week, it is obvious to everyone that Loyalist paramilitaries are leading the Ulster Unionists, not the other way around.
“This kind of language and this kind of activity is utterly wrong. The only move the Ulster Unionist leadership can now make is to end this sorry link with the PUP and admit it has made an appalling misjudgement. Otherwise it is hard to see how any true democrat can remain in that party’s ranks.”