Belfast Telegraph

'It's better discussions happen in private': Alliance response to Clare Bailey election pact proposal

The leader of the Alliance Party Naomi Long
The leader of the Alliance Party Naomi Long

By Eimear McGovern

The Alliance party has said they are committed to giving the electorate a full choice of candidates in a general election.

It comes after the leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland wrote to the leaders of pro-remain parties here on Wednesday in an attempt to discuss agreed candidates for the anticipated general election.

Clare Bailey said she has sent letters to the leaders of the SDLP, Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party as a result of speculation an election may take place in mid-October.

A spokesperson said the Alliance party is always open to discussions with other parties.

"It is best that these happen in private rather than via press release or on social media," the party said.

Earlier Ms Bailey said that the people of Northern Ireland voted to remain and it's vital Northern Ireland's MPs reflect that.

"These are extraordinary and precarious times as we face into a no deal Brexit and continuing chaos at Westminster," she said.

"In the face of a snap General Election, a no-deal Brexit and chaos at Westminster, we must put the interests of the people ahead of those of any single party or prospective candidate."

The suggestion has had one response from a party leader so far, with the SDLP's Colum Eastwood saying he would be receptive to the idea and would meet Clare Bailey to discuss her proposal.

"I'd be delighted to meet to discuss how we can maximise the number of MPs from here prepared to go and vote against Brexit," he said.

There has been no public response from Sinn Fein to Clare Bailey's letter as of yet.

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