30/01/2002

Alliance meet Blair to discuss Assembly voting strategies

The leaders of the Northern Ireland Alliance Party have meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street to discuss voting procedures in the Assembly and the amnesty for terrorists in Northern Ireland.

Mr Ford, Alliance deputy leader Eileen Bell and General Secretary Stephen Farry met Mr Blair on Wednesday evening to discuss, primarily voting strategies used in key votes at Stormont and the issue of sectarian designations.

During a crucial vote in November, Mark Durkan and David Trimble were elected, after a temporary stalemate, to head Northern Ireland's devolved government with the backing of the Alliance party. Three members redesignated themselves for centre to unionist in order to ensure cross community support.

The Alliance Party met Mr Blair to discuss the sectarian voting system which the Government said it would deal with in a full Comprehensive Review of the Agreement, due to begin in May this year.

The Alliance said before the meeting they would be highlighting their difficulties with the "Government's proposals for an amnesty for terrorists 'on the run', particularly when the disgusting practice of paramilitaries forcibly exiling people from Northern Ireland continues."

Meanwhile, a SDLP delegation met with Mr Blair on Tuesday. Speaking afterwards, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the meeting had been frank with the primary focus on the Criminal Justice Review legislation. (AMcE)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 April 2021
Arlene Foster To Step Down As DUP Leader And First Minister
Arlene Foster has announced she is to step down as DUP Leader and First Minister of Northern Ireland. She will stand down as DUP Leader at the end of May and First Minister at the end of June.
04 May 2021
Date For DUP Leadership Election To Be Discussed
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) officers are to meet today, 04 May, to discuss the date of its leadership election, according to reports. Stormont Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson have put themselves forward to succeed Arlene Foster.
04 May 2021
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson Enters DUP Leadership Contest
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has announced that he will be a candidate to succeed Arlene Foster as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). NI's agriculture minuter Edwin Poots also declared his candidature last week. Mr Foster announced she is to stand down as leader at the end of May and as First Minister at the end of June.
04 December 2020
NI Businesses Urged To Check Their 'Preparedness For The End Of Transition'
Businesses across Northern Ireland are being urged to check their preparedness for the end of the Brexit transition period.
26 November 2020
UHRW Calls For Public Inquiry Into La Mon Bombing
The Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) has called for a Public Inquiry into the La Mon terrorist atrocity which killed 12 people and injured 23 more on 17 February 1978. In 2014, the then Secretary of State rejected calls for a Public Inquiry on grounds of insufficient evidence.