Ford calls on parties to ‘stop and think’

Alliance Party leader David Ford
Alliance Party leader David Ford

David Ford has called on the other main parties to “stop and think” before jeopardising the future of the power-sharing institutions beyond repair.

The Alliance leader said his party was “exploring options” around the future of the Assembly, but said a “calm atmosphere” in which to conduct talks was needed.

“We must be wary that there is still an ongoing police investigation and there have been no charges brought to anyone arrested in connection with the murder of Kevin McGuigan,” he said.

Mr Ford added: “Whilst the potential implications from these latest arrests would be grave, it is vital no one acts based on just speculation and not facts. Alliance is exploring a number of options regarding the future of the Assembly in order to allow parties to take a step back and participate in talks in a calm manner.”

The SDLP is to meet with the Taoiseach in Dublin this morning but a party delegation is expected to address the media at Stormont later today.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew has called for an independent evaluation of the state of the peace process, “with particular reference to the current status of the Provisional IRA,” and added: “The electorate, the people of Northern Ireland who we represent, deserve better and I would like to see decisions of all parties based on evidence rather than assumptions.”