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Source: Traditional Unionist Voice – Northern Ireland

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“Naomi Long’s comments to party members reported in today’s News Letter spelling out that “the only way to overcome the failures of leadership we have witnessed at the Executive in recent days is by ending mandatory coalition and breaking the governance structures that have held Northern Ireland back for far too long” is welcome if belated recognition of the obvious.

“The root of the problems in government here, not just over the last few months but since the inception of devolution, is and always has been mandatory coalition. Forcing parties together without having to be agreed about anything will always fail, particularly where the imperative for one of the parties is the failure of Northern Ireland.

“Though these comments are welcome, one cannot help but noting their irony. There has been no more vocal champion of the midwife of mandatory coalition, the Belfast Agreement, than Alliance. In every crisis since the Agreement’s inception, there has been no party more vocal about getting parties back into the failed system than Alliance. Alliance regularly have items on the Assembly order paper yet they don’t use that opportunity to highlight the flaws of mandatory coalition. Indeed you have to go back to 2009 to find a reference to mandatory coalition on the Alliance website.

“TUV has been saying for years that mandatory coalition could never work and we have provided an alternative plan entitled A Path to Making Stormont Work (online here).

“The question Naomi Long has to answer is if this is the core of the problem with government in Northern Ireland why has she and her party been so remarkably quiet about it until now and what is she going to do about it?

“The same challenge exists for other parties who know it can never work. The only agenda it suits is that of Sinn Fein because it’s every failure aids their narrative. It’s time parties who know better put principle before power.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom