North Belfast more than ever needs inclusive leadership, Alliance General Election candidate Nuala McAllister has said, after the UUP confirmed they would not be running in the constituency.
Ms McAllister said the decision by incoming UUP leader Steve Aiken was an act of backtracking on his behalf.
“Threats towards the UUP from any quarters have to be condemned as the anti-democratic crimes they are,” she said.
“However, paramilitaries cannot be allowed to win. This backtracking by Steve Aiken is not only him caving in but also effectively bowing the knee to the DUP before he has even taken the reins of the UUP. He made a big play about running candidates in every constituency but has now lost any credibility he had.
“North Belfast is one of the most divided parts of the city, and this situation has not improved under the term of the current DUP MP. Alliance offers the only fully inclusive solution with a strong anti-Brexit message, which we will voice in Parliament for all the people of the constituency.
“By voting Alliance on December 12, voters in North Belfast can send a clear message this election is not about orange or green politics. It is not about the union or a united Ireland. It is about showing opposition to headcounts and showing staying in the EU is in the best long term interests of all the people of Northern Ireland.”