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McAllister: Cowardly move to remove names from call-in

The Alliance Party has been forced to withdraw its 'call-in' over the latest DUP and Sinn Féin financial carve-up at city hall, after two councillors, an independent and one UUP removed their names - a move Councillor Nuala McAllister has described as "cowardly".

Speaking after the Alliance Party's attempt to block the DUP and Sinn Féin's decision to award thousands of pounds of arts funding to groups they favoured without any proper processes in place was quashed, Nuala said it was clear only Alliance was committed to driving openness and transparency at City Hall.

The call-in mechanism allows Councillors to request an issue or be revisited if they feel the original decision was handled incorrectly.

Nuala added: "It's now clear that only Alliance is prepared to stand up against the carve-up of funds and is not afraid to tackle the DUP and Sinn Féin's cosy relationship when it comes to finances in City Hall.

"More than ever it's important we secure a stronger Alliance team in May - a team big enough to hold others to account, without having to rely on others to have the courage to see things through.

"I'll be raising this matter again at Council as it's only right the public know exactly how decisions are being made on their behalf. There are many questions around how this funding allocation came about, with pressure exerted from outside influences on the political process.

"The PUP, SDLP and UUP have seriously let people down and they must reflect on why they are prepared to be intimidated by the DUP and Sinn Féin, rather than stand up for what is right and call in this latest carve up."