Alister meets Secretary of State

North Antrim MLA has urged the Secretary of State “to give a lead on issues because left to itself Stormont would never self-regulate itself into a workable and democratic institution”.

Mr Alister was speaking after a meeting at Hillsborough with Teresa Villiers during which he expressed my disappointment “that her Northern Ireland Bill does nothing to provide for an opposition at Stormont and reminded her that voters in Northern Ireland should have the same rights as electors in other parts of the United Kingdom - the right to vote a party out of government and the right to have an opposition. After all, we live in Northern Ireland, not North Korea!

“I also pressed her on the issue of flags. It is ridiculous that even when it comes to “designated days” these are less than in the rest of the United Kingdom.

“We also discussed the fact that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK not to have an Armed Forces advocate and I highlighted that this was because of the Sinn Fein veto over everything which comes before the Executive.”