Naomi Long officially takes over as party leader telling the public “Vote Alliance and get Alliance”

No real surprises here but Naomi Long was officially endorsed by her party colleagues tonight as the leader of the Alliance Party.

Long has previously served as the party’s deputy leader under David Ford and was the MP for East Belfast from 2010-2015.

She has been credited for her work in building the Alliance party in her East Belfast constituency since she was elected to the Assembly in 2003.

Speaking about her vision for the party she said;

I am taking over a party in good health and in good spirits, one ready to grasp the opportunities which lie ahead for all in our society and poised to lead the renewal needed across Northern Ireland. There remains an important job to do, offering people a clear and ambitious alternative vision for the future, while helping create a united community which is progressive, liberal, fair and open.

Only a party which is itself progressive, liberal, fair and open can truly deliver that. Alliance is that party. The party has a diverse and vibrant membership, but what brings us together are our shared belief our society can thrive because of our differences, not in spite of them.

I want to reach out to those people and areas who might not be seen as traditionally Alliance, appeal to them and work to build a liberal and progressive future. In our increasingly diverse society, we can let difference divide us or we can celebrate it and make it our strength. As Alliance Leader, I want to do the latter.

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  • ted hagan

    Now, now children.

  • Declan Doyle

    The very best to her, she is most certainly a good egg and a woman who certainly can stand up to Unionist bullying. She does a great job and is a fantastic rep. However, I would be a little concerned about her Health and what level of stress this job might bring upon her.

  • Jim M

    Why would you be concerned about her health? Because she’s a bigger lady? There have been plenty of make MLAs and councillors of generous proportions and I don’t recall them getting any flak.

  • Declan Doyle

    Nobody should get ‘flak’ because of their size or possible health issues. That’s not what I am suggesting.

  • Jim M

    Okay, grand, what health problems are you suggesting then?

  • Declan Doyle

    She has seemed to me recently somewhat pale and as you have brought up her size, I would be worried there might be a connection. No doubt I am incorrect, I hope so.

  • Thought Criminal

    Excellent news. Hopefully the Alliance Party will now be decimated as a result. The most annoying person in NI politics.

  • Jim M

    Maybe I just live in a pro Alliance social media bubble but she always seemed quite popular to me… Care to elaborate why she’s ‘annoying’?

  • chrisjones2

    A new low in tactics for a SF supporter

    Still at least we have one party with a female leader rather than one who is forced to sit on the sidelines with the ‘oul boys refuse to shift over as they slide into dotage

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Certianly a most annoying MLA for those who believe that a full in depth inquirey into Kincora would not be in “the national interest”……………

  • Old Mortality

    ‘There have been plenty of make MLAs and councillors of generous proportions’
    True, but a debate on tackling obesity would make for a rather grotesque spectacle if embarrassment did not cause them to have prior engagements.
    I can’t think of any party leader, male or female, in the UK or Ireland who could reasonably be classified as obese.

  • Nordie Northsider

    You wouldn’t happen to be male, by any chance?

  • Jim M

    Talking recent past leaders and deputy leaders here but Salmond and Prescott weren’t exactly low BMI guys, and probably clinically obese. Plus there’s no reason someone can’t contribute to a debate on obesity policy while overweight. I find it pretty unpleasant that there seem to be so many people (mostly men it seems) judging Naomi on her size.

  • Old Mortality

    Prescott is no longer politically active and Salmond, while almost certainly above the desirable BMI, could not reasonably be described as obese. Senior politicians like Cameron and Obama are never seen smoking in public view but obesity is now overtaking smoking as the major public health issue and, unlike smoking, it cannot be concealed.

  • Dan
  • Tochais Siorai

    I have a lot of time for Naomi Long, she’s a breath of fresh air in many respects and a vast improvement on David Ford but it isn’t unreasonable to bring up health concerns over someone with such serious weight issues, regardless of gender.

  • Jim M

    I find it interesting that I can only think of two politicians where ‘health concerns’ have been raised: her and Hillary. Both are women. If anyone can think of counter examples, fair enough, but it seems like a smear that is exclusively aimed at women.

  • Jim M

    While high BMI doesn’t always mean obesity, the last guidelines I saw were that a BMI over 30 generally means obese. I wouldn’t be so sure Salmond doesn’t fall into that bracket. I’m sure it’s embarrassing for an obese person to have to comment on obesity strategy, but I can’t really see your point beyond that…

  • chrisjones2

    “Vote Alliance and get Alliance”

    ……. and that is the problem

  • Thought Criminal

    I’d rather let you stay in your bubble and think she’s wonderful while the rest of us switch channel as soon as she appears 😛

  • Jollyraj

    Indeed. Pale?? She’s from NI – that’s how we roll 🙂

  • Jim M

    I never said she was wonderful, but your inability to articulate your dislike of her says an awful lot…

  • Granni Trixie

    It is completely unreasonable.

    If you were sitting on an interview panel you would be expected by law to put aside assumptions about a persons health status. If you had reason to thnk that their health impacted on their ability to do the job for which they were applying you would be entitled to ask them about that.

    There will be few in the country in any doubt as to Naomi’s ability to do the job she is elected to do so why should anyone ask her about her health?

  • Tochais Siorai

    Nope. It’s not long ago since concerns about Charles Kennedy’s alcohol issues forced him to resign as Lib Dem leader, concerns which were justified considering his early demise was related to alcohol.

    There is also the issue of credibility. Mary Harney, when Minister for Health in the Republic delegated obesity programmes to a junior minister because of her own personal issues in this area. I think political correctness relating to obesity can blind us to the damage it can cause, particularly as it is such a growing problem in this part of the world.

  • Abucs

    So when voting for Alliance, what policies for long term economic growth are we getting? Honest question.

  • Teddybear

    The law can be an ass. As Orwell said, anyone with eyes in his head can see that people are not equal.

    If someone is obese it means they lack self control and could be depressed or have no self esteem.

    We are not mocking Naomi. We are concerned

  • jm

    Obesity and depression were among Churchill’s many flaws, but he is still seen by many as a great leader.

    Here’s a generalization for you – lots of Northern Irish men don’t like wee. fat wimmin who are cleverer, more articulate and passionate than them in positions of power, cos it goes against their notions of how things should be.

  • Granni Trixie

    Aye,right.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Obesity wasn’t rampant in Churchill’s day. It is now.

  • jm

    So fat people should be disbarred from leadership or public life? Is that your point? Please elaborate.

  • Thought Criminal

    That must already be a crime according to the “liberal” elite.
    https://youtu.be/Pa-7a2gLDjI

  • Oggins

    Declan it is completely unfair to make such judgements which only drive rumours.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Wow a White Male anger satirical track hmms… can we make a list?

  • Dan

    Virtue signalling, piety, pomposity and overwhelming self-regard.

  • Declan Doyle

    I much esteem Naomi Long. I think she has phenomonal talent, i am simply making an observance, nothing else.

  • AndyB
  • AndyB

    I think that Naomi will be just fine. After all, she survived Westminster and the flag protests.

  • Oggins

    I have much concern over her health, implies you know something. Which you now say you don’t. As you can see most posters have highlighted this as unfair. You should not make such presumptions, or try to defend them, without any proof.

  • Abucs

    http://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/09/12/john-mccain-2008-medical-records-origwx-cs.cnn

    McCain’s health was raised when he ran for president and then of course Trump’s temperament has been challenged.

    Try bringing into question a woman’s temperament for President and see how far you get. 🙂

    Ronald Reagan was also challenged on his age which is fairly closely related with health concerns.

    I think with Hillary’s collapse on September 11 just after her coughing bouts, then her health became a fair issue of concern. Not so much now though as she seems healthy.

    I don’t know of any reason why Ms Long’s health should be questioned.

  • grumpy oul man

    Speak for yourself. She and her party behaved with great diginty and courage during the madness of the flag protests and afterwards put up with nasty personal attacks during the westminister elections.
    She is a capable debater who just last night on Nolan she tied Gregory in knots.
    Now do you have a reason why you dont like her or is it just redheads you dont like.

  • Declan Doyle

    If u want to look for an insult in there go ahead and find one if it makes u feel better.

  • Oggins

    Declan, not looking for an insult, just highlighting how your assumption could be portrayed. Just highlighting how implying your opinion on someones health, in that manner, could be assumed as you have knowledge on their health. You shouldn’t presume.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Really?! Unbelievable sexism.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I can’t believe people are talking in these terms. A bloke would never get that kind of comment. Sexist nonsense.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Of course not, don’t be creating ridiculous straw men arguments. I’m saying that people in positions of responsibility should be mindful of the messages they send out . Obesity (and I stress obese – not being a tad overweight) is a major problem in our society and getting worse. The implications of this are going hit the health services like a tsunami in the years to come if we don;t get our collective act together on this e.g increased heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc . Being political correct is all very well but we’ve got to cop on on this matter.

    I’ll leave it at that as this topic has somewhat derailed the thread subject – a politician who I’ve a lot of time for and who I hope is around in political life for a long time to come.

  • Old Mortality

    My point is that if politicians (Farage excepted) are afraid to be seen smoking in public, it is because they would be flailed for setting a bad example. Now that obesity is a major public health issue, obese politicians may also find themselves in a similar position. It’s hard to have a serious discussion about the pressures on the NHS these days without the problems caused by obesity being raised. In a leaders debate where one or more was obese would this issue be ignored in order to avoid causing embarrassment?

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