Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Peter Robinson in shared future row with MLA

Green Party leader Steven Agnew
Green Party leader Steven Agnew

The First Minister has angrily denied the Executive has given up on a community relations strategy to tackle sectarianism in Northern Ireland.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew said an economic programme agreed with Westminster had been repackaged as plan for a shared future.

The North Down MLA asked whether a statement from the DUP leader to the Assembly yesterday focusing almost exclusively on the economy was "an admission from the Executive that they have given up on delivering a shared future strategy?"

But Mr Robinson said: "Has the member been on holiday? Is he not aware that we have produced the strategy on building a united community? Did he not listen to my statement, in which I indicated that the Executive have unanimously supported this being the starting point and that they will seek to deliver it?

"The strategy is there for building a united community. Perhaps, the member will go to the library and get a copy of it."

In an hour-long question and answer session, Mr Robinson said the Executive has told the UK Treasury and others it has the programmes to deliver on a shared future.

Among the measures agreed with the Government is a pilot scheme to help realise the Executive's ambition to make tourism here a £1bn industry by 2020.

Describing the 'pact' announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last month as a "potent symbol of the Executive's vision", Mr Robinson said: "...the Northern Ireland of the future will be a genuinely shared society, able to fulfil its real economic potential."

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