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DUP Policing Board member Mervyn Storey has said the reaction of the Alliance Party to our meeting with the Loyalist Communities Council reeks of hypocrisy and double standards.

Mr Storey said,

“This Alliance Party reaction is not about principle, its about politics. The Alliance Party principles brought Sinn Fein into government at a time when the PIRA was fully armed and Sinn Fein didn’t support the police, the courts or the rule of law. The Alliance party is guilty of double standards. One rule for republicans another rule for loyalists.

Stephen Farry must take the people for fools with his holier-than-thou lectures. Sinn Fein’s links with the PIRA are undeniable. To this day the Sinn Fein leadership justify, eulogise and celebrate PIRA murderers. Yet the Alliance party works with SF in Stormont as well as Councils all over the country.

Indeed, when we felt Sinn Fein’s land rover surfing, bolt cutter brandishing Gerry Kelly, a Policing Board member, should have been sacked for glorifying the criminal actions of those who escaped from the Maze Prison, the Alliance Justice Minister opted to leave him in his position. Perhaps Mr Farry should reflect on this before accusing others of being weak on criminality.

The DUP is right to engage with people from every background and to give leadership so they can be transitioned away from violence. We must demonstrate that politics works but we don’t get there by ignoring people and certainly not by tolerating the glorification of terrorism.

Whilst the Alliance Party campaigns for the rigorous implementation of the flawed Northern Ireland Protocol, the DUP will listen to people from all communities who can see the flaws. We will work for political solutions rather than closing our eyes to the problems.”