Stephen Farry MLA said: “Alliance has made it clear that we will only consider the Justice Ministry if we believe it’s in the interests of people in Northern Ireland. Unlike the Ulster Unionists we have not shackled ourselves to any other party, and in particular a party that is intent on inflicting savage public spending cuts here. The Ulster Unionists are the puppets of the Tories. It is a shame that people like Fred Cobain who spoke and worked on behalf of ordinary people have sacrificed that for the rigid government of the right.
“Only Alliance has stayed true to working towards a shared and prosperous future for Northern Ireland. The UUP engages in little more than empty rhetoric and in every opportunity that they are given to support a shared future, they fail to.
“The Ulster Unionists need to make their mind up on whether or not they are making any accusation about the Alliance Party. Given that last month Reg Empey was at pains to stress he didn’t think that an Alliance Justice Minister would be a puppet, Fred Cobain’s statement is in conflict with his leader’s comments.
“It has already been established in Westminster legislation that any Justice Minister would be an equal member of the Stormont Executive and we are stressing the need for clear agreement policies and action points for any new Department of Justice ahead of devolution. Our leader, David Ford, has written to other party leaders asking for meetings to discuss such policies. It’s a pity that UUP have done nothing other than send a letter of acknowledgment, and instead have continued to whine from sidelines.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Alliance is responding to this press release from the UUP: