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Peter Robinson in shared future row with MLA

BY NOEL MCADAM

Published 03/07/2013

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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From Belfast Telegraph