Alliance 'stands for a united NI'

Alliance 'stands for a united NI'

Alliance leader David Ford has said his party does not fit the nationalist or unionist mould but stands for everyone in Northern Ireland.

Mr Ford was delivering his speech to the annual Alliance conference in Belfast."We aren't the moderates in Northern Ireland politics - we're the radicals," he told party members at the La Mon Hotel on Saturday morning."We don't fit the unionist vs nationalist mould, we were made to smash it and there's only one way we will do it - by convincing more and more people to step forward and vote Alliance."Earlier this week, South Belfast MLA Anna Lo caused a stir among unionists when she gave an interview suggesting she would prefer to see a united Ireland.David Ford says Alliance is not middle of the road between unionism and nationalism.— Ken Reid (@KenReid_utv) March 22, 2014Mr Ford's speech made reference to the incident and Ms Lo's achievements as a politician.He said: "Some in this society are motivated by hope of a united Ireland, some by the continuation of the United Kingdom. What unites us all in Alliance is an unequivocal commitment to building a united community."So when people ask you on the doorsteps what Alliance is about, tell them this. Alliance is the only party whose primary objective, whose driving force, whose very reason for its existence is a determination to build a shared future for everyone in Northern Ireland."In her speech, Ms Lo said she joined Alliance because it "puts people before politics".She continued: "Like the rest of you and like most people in Northern Ireland, I don't lie awake at night thinking about the border or Northern Ireland's constitutional future - nor is that what gets me out of bed in the morning."No. What I care about above anything else, what drives me and my politics, is the everyday needs of ordinary people. These are the people I work to help; these are the issues that I want to tackle. Employment, housing, welfare, our environment, and good relations."I joined the Alliance Party because my motivation isn't a united Ireland, but a united Northern Ireland. I joined Alliance because my priority was a shared future."


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