We should be working on a cross-community basis not a cross-unionist basis – Ford

Alliance Leader David Ford MLA has said that Parties should be working on a cross-community basis and not on a cross-unionist basis. His comments follow the setting up of the Unionist Forum by the DUP and UUP to discuss issues such as flags, British Culture and parading.

David Ford MLA: “The only solution to deliver a shared future must come from a consensus from all groups and not from parties working in different tribal blocks. We will not achieve anything if the Unionist Parties put forward their demands on behalf of one section of the community and thus turning the debate into one in which issues are won or lost for different sections.

“What we need to do is to reach agreement on these issues for all sections and not just one grouping.

“At the weekend I wrote to all Party Leaders proposing that a leaders meeting take place which I am glad is happening on Thursday. This is a far better way to resolve difficult issues such as flags, parading and community relations. It will be very hard to reach consensus if parties revert back to their tribal silos.

“Solutions to these issues can only be found on a cross-community basis, not on a cross-unionist basis.

“The Alliance Party will continue to work on behalf of all people and I would urge Unionist Leaders to move away from just working for one group. I would remind Peter Robinson that he is the First Minister for Northern Ireland and not just the unionist community. Mike Nesbitt has previously said that he wants to work for everybody, and yet he is prioritising only one section of the community.”


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