The Castlereagh Councillor stated: “Unionists are contradicting themselves on the Ulster Unionist/PUP link-up. First it was a purely tactical move, then a cunning plan to get Loyalist decommissioning. First it was wrong to talk to paramilitaries, then they had been doing it for over a decade. First they had consulted senior party figures, then they hadn’t. It is an absolute farce.
“Then to add to the hypocrisy, we have the DUP trying to play ‘whiter than white’!
“There is nothing wrong with engaging with people to try to move on from paramilitarism, and to try to resolve the genuine social problems that breed it. But there is everything wrong with merging with the representatives of those engaged in ongoing criminal activity and gangsterism.
“The wide array of explanations for this scandalous move only serve to show that Unionism is a political philosophy devoid of principle, prepared to tolerate anything for cheap political gain.
“Those seeking to put the rule of law before gangsterism, democracy before violence, and victims before terrorists will know they can no longer rely upon any sort of Unionism. But Alliance will remain steadfast in its principled commitment to a lawful, democratic and fair future. That is what this process must be about.”