The Alliance group leader in Castlereagh council has hit out at the authority's “tribal politics” after once again being shut out from its top civic positions.
Councillor Geraldine Rice said despite becoming the council's second largest party, Alliance was continually left out in the cold from the mayoral office.
But the DUP said the party was “unlikely to get any positions in the future” over its reported refusal to support a motion calling for custodial sentences for those who attack the elderly.
Yesterday the council voted in a UUP mayor, Michael Henderson and a DUP deputy mayor, Michael Sandford.
Mrs Rice said that the move was “disgraceful” and that it amounted to nothing more than a “carve-up” among unionist councillors.
Alliance has only taken the mayoral chain once in 35 years and the deputy position just twice in the last 21 years.
Mrs Rice pointed out that Alliance has six councillors in Castlereagh to the UUP’s three.
“Despite this fact, we have once again been denied the top position we are democratically entitled to. And, despite what Mike Nesbitt may say in Stormont, his party is doing these dirty deals in councils under the name of unionist unity.”
The DUP last night said Alliance is unlikely to ever hold office in the council after refusing to support a motion relating to custodial sentences for those involved in attacks on the elderly.
Jimmy Spratt MLA said: “Any party who refuses to vote for a motion in support of the most vulnerable people in our society isn't fit to hold high office,” he said.