Alliance's new Ministerial team welcome restoration of the institutions and look forward to challenges ahead

Alliance’s newly appointed Ministerial team has welcomed restoration of the Stormont institutions and said they are looking forward to working with other Executive Ministers to address the challenges and maximise the opportunities which lie ahead on behalf of our entire community.

Naomi Long Andrew Muir Executive

Naomi Long, Alliance Leader and East Belfast MLA, was elected Justice Minister, while North Down MLA Andrew Muir was appointed as Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister at the Assembly sitting today.

Speaking at the conclusion of the sitting, Mrs Long said: “I am proud to finally be leading a 17-strong team of Alliance MLAs into the Assembly Chamber, to be able to perform their full role after the last two years of drift.

“I am also delighted to be joined by my colleague, Andrew Muir MLA, at the Executive table and am confident our Executive and Assembly team will make a significant contribution to improving people's lives.

“There are many pressing issues ahead for the incoming Executive to tackle, none more fundamental than negotiating a proper funding formula with Treasury to place our public finances on a sustainable footing. 

“Addressing public sector pay as a matter of urgency, delivering health transformation and stabilisation, tackling education funding and reform, addressing the childcare pressures faced by local parents and supporting a dynamic and thriving economy are all essential elements of building the more shared and equitable society to which Alliance has always committed.

“Both Andrew and I look forward to working with other Ministers in the Executive to achieve these goals.”

“It is an incredible honour to become a Minister in the Executive and I want to thank my party colleagues for their faith in me,” added Mr Muir.

“I entered politics driven by a desire to help people right across our community. I hope I will be able to do so even more directly now as DAERA Minister and a member of the Executive. I do not underestimate the challenges we face but I believe as I always have, we can best address them by working together.

“Whilst our focus today is rightly on the future, we must also reflect on the damage caused by the instability of our institutions over the last number of years. Stop-start government has played a major role in deepening the crises in our public services, finances and across our society. Alliance will continue to pursue reform of our institutions to ensure no single party can ever again hold our institutions to ransom.

“I am determined, alongside Naomi, to work to ensure this Executive is not just stable but effective and can deliver positive change for the entire community.”