David Ford has told the BBC a £1bn package to pay for devolution of policing and justice could be lost if agreement is not reached before the next general election.
There is probably some truth in this but as Fionnuala O’Connor pointed out on Inside Politics yesterday it is a very strange arrangement when a party (Alliance) with no mandate to sit around the Executive table will end up in government as a result of a deal to set aside the D’Hondt for the allocation of this post.
Sinn Fein and the DUP have agreed a nationalist will not hold the post of justice minister, thus subverting the rights of SDLP voters to be properly represented at the Executive table in accordance with the partys mandate and the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement. This deal discriminates against nationalist voters and the SDLP as the party would be entitled to the 11th minister in the Executive under D’Hondt.
It surely also poses a question about SF and the DUP’s commitment to equality.