DUP playing cynical party politics with people's lives and livelihoods, says Long

The DUP is playing cynical party politics with people's lives and livelihoods, Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said.

Mrs Long was speaking ahead of a statement later by First Minister Paul Givan, in which he is expected to announce his intention to resign.

“Without a First Minister, the Executive is unable to meet. We then have a zombie Executive, unable to bring new legislation, initiate significant new policy or take any action requiring an Executive decisions,” she said.

“That has potentially dire implications for vital public services, given we have yet to agree a budget for next year. Without certainty on future funding, progress on tackling hospital waiting lists and implementing much-needed health reforms, recovering courts from Covid backlogs, and a whole raft of legislation, from integrated education to climate change to protecting victims of sexual offences and human trafficking could all be jeopardised, and more.

“The people of Northern Ireland gave a resounding message during the last political impasse – they want devolution, with locally-accountable politicians taking decisions in the public interest. They want to see politicians focused on delivering for them.

“The DUP have still not learned that lesson and it’s ordinary people who will pay the price for this cynical electioneering.”