Alliance Party confirm they are not in a position to take the Department of Justice…

Looks like four will become two as the SDLP and Alliance look set to head for the opposition benches.

 

This does explain some of the earlier messages from the First and Deputy First Minister, has a possible deal been done between Sinn Fein and the DUP on this?

Party is saying there is a gap between themselves and OFM/DFM on reform of the Petition of Concern.

Statement from David Ford;

Alliance submitted a paper to the DUP and Sinn Fein on Tuesday outlining where we believed movement could be made and today they responded

It is clear we are not on the same page when it comes to seeking progress for our society and as such, I cannot recommend to Alliance Party Council this evening we take the Justice portfolio.

“There has rightly been public frustration over the repeated failures of other parties in the Executive and a different approach is undoubtedly needed. Alliance does not want more stop-start politics but rather is concerned with taking Northern Ireland forward faster. We sought reassurances the DUP and Sinn Fein agreed with us on fundamental reforms to benefit our community. However, judging by their response, that is not the case.

“The proposals Alliance put to the DUP and Sinn Fein were ambitious and would have moved Northern Ireland forward. We have engaged constructively throughout this entire process, with delivering for our community foremost in our minds.

“It is clear there is a problem for the DUP and Sinn Fein to resolve in terms of finding a Justice Minister but they have rejected our solution. It is now up to them to resolve the problem over the next six days.”

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs