|First 'Minister for Justice'?|
1.00.00pm BST (GMT +0100) Mon 4th Aug 2008
Alliance Leader David Ford has said his party will not take the proposed Policing and Justice Ministry following speculation on the issue in recent times. The Alliance Assembly Group met this morning at Stormont and discussed the matter.
David Ford said: "The Alliance Party will not be taking the Policing and Justice Ministry. This Executive is failing in its duties, so Northern Ireland needs a strong and coherent opposition. We are providing that opposition and we will continue to do so.
"The Executive is in crisis over planning, the environment, the 11-plus, Irish language, and the multi-sports stadium issue. Do the Executive parties expect us to take the Environment, Education and Culture Ministries to save their bacon on these matters?
"The Executive has not met since mid-June. It is in a crisis of its own making. It is up to the Executive parties to resolve this crisis as they are the government. They must start by actually meeting again as an Executive to discuss the outstanding issues. We are the opposition and we will remain so because this Executive is so poor that Northern Ireland needs a strong group to keep the pressure on it."
Ford says Alliance can now nominate for Justice Ministry
11.35.06am GMT Thu 25th Feb 2010
Alliance Party Council last night recommended that Leader David Ford can now nominate a candidate for Justice Minister. Party Council agreed that the two conditions which Alliance raised have now been met. Sinn Fein and the DUP have agreed on the community relations strategy and genuine progress has been made on agreeing a Justice Department policy programme.
David Ford said: "There is now agreement on the community relations strategy and real progress on agreeing a justice policy programme. This has not been an easy decision to make but a decision has finally been reached. We have had much discussion within our party on this and now that our two conditions have been met, we can nominate for the post of Justice Minister.
"On Tuesday, the DUP and Sinn Fein announced that they had agreed the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration policy after a two and a half year delay. This is the first ever community relations strategy agreed in any period of devolution we have had in Northern Ireland. This did not happen when the UUP and SDLP were in charge. I believe that progress this week is due to Alliance pressure.
"Yesterday, we received assurances on the proposals that Alliance has put forward for the devolution of Justice. It is important that when devolution takes place there is agreement on policies, so that devolution is seen to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.
"Alliance Party Council has recommended that we are now in a position to nominate a candidate for Justice Minister. We will be meeting with the First and Deputy First Ministers and a further announcement regarding the identity of the Minister will be made in the near future."
The Alliance Party will not be taking the Policing and Justice Ministry. This Executive is failing in its duties, so Northern Ireland needs a strong and coherent opposition. We are providing that opposition and we will continue to do so.
We are the opposition and we will remain so because this Executive is so poor that Northern Ireland needs a strong group to keep the pressure on it.