Alliance Deputy Leader Eileen Bell has questioned David Trimble’s right to exclude the voice of a large majority of the electorate by failing to participate in the current political negotiations.
Mrs Bell said: “David Trimble wants to restrict what he sees as the only meaningful talks between the two governments, neither of which has any mandate from the people here, Sinn Fein and his own party.”
“Between them they received less than 39 percent of the total vote in the last Assembly election. The talks this week at Stormont would represent around 70 percent of the electorate if the UUP were to join the other pro-agreement parties already attending. On that basis alone, the UUP are under an obligation to attend if, as they claim, they really want the agreement to work.”
“They are also under an obligation, I would suggest, to discuss other very important issues, such as Equality, Victims and Human Rights, even if they don’t think they really matter. I would remind Mr Trimble that he was only First Minister because of the temporary support of myself and two other members of my party, yet we don’t warrant a place at the ‘big table’.”