David Ford stated: “The Ulster Unionists got into bed with the political front of the UVF, and the fact that the Speaker does not recognise the relationship makes no difference to the fact that they agreed to try it. After all, the Ulster Unionists remain linked to representatives of Loyalist paramilitarism in Belfast City Council.
“Given how badly the UVF fared in the most recent IMC report, serious questions have to be raised about the Ulster Unionists’ judgement and intentions in tackling gangsterism. Victims of such activity know fine well that they have been sacrificed by Ulster Unionism for a cheap political gain, which has been rendered void in any case. There is no evidence Ulster Unionists have learned this lesson.
“Decent people will be asking why Ulster Unionists are so determined to make a distinction between Loyalist and Republican violence? Their claim to be a party genuine about law and order has been irreparably tarnished.”