David Ford MLA said: “Following this evening’s heated discussion of the Programme for Government and last week’s equally damaging debate on the Legislative Programme, the Executive yet again lies in crisis. This is the second time in a week that the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP have voted against their Executive colleagues. The PfG is a massive missed opportunity and the public are now seeing how directionless the Executive is.
“The level of support for our Alliance amendment tonight indicates the growing unrest within this Executive and underlines how poor their plans are. This Programme for Government has neither quantity nor quality.
“The DUP and Sinn Fein must sit up and take notice of the groundswell of opinion against their plans. These two parties are clearly rattled by today’s proceedings given the lack of composure shown by some of their MLAs in their response to comments from Alliance representatives.
“The split within the Executive has widened tonight. The real question is how long can the Executive ignore people’s mounting concerns about their ability to govern Northern Ireland.”