Alliance leader slams Ulster Unionist leaflet linking party members to IRA

The leader of the Alliance Party has reacted with disgust to a leaflet by a rival party which linked her party members with the IRA.

Naomi Long was speaking after a leaflet which promotes Ulster Unionist Party Belfast City Council election candidates Jim Rodgers and Peter Johnston was distributed in an area of the east of the city.

The leaflet includes claims that the Alliance Party are “closely aligned to Sinn Féin”, adding: “Their record shows time and time again they vote with the Provisional IRA’s political wing.”

Alliance leader Naomi Long has complained to the Local Government Ombudsman about the content of an election leaflet which promotes Ulster Unionist candidate Jim Rodgers (Liam McBurney/PA)

Ms Long has referred the leaflet to the Local Government Ombudsman.

“This is a deliberate attempt by the UUP to link Alliance members to the IRA, in an area where our offices have been attacked, representatives have received death threats and some have been forced to leave their homes due to previous raising of tensions by the UUP and others,” she said.

“Figures show for periods of time, the DUP and others have voted more with Sinn Fein on Belfast City Council than other parties. Alliance votes for each issue on a case-by-case basis. However, that is not politically expedient for the UUP to state.”

This was not a central Ulster Unionist Party message

In a statement, the Ulster Unionist Party distanced itself from the leaflet.

“This was not a central Ulster Unionist Party message. It is included in a leaflet distributed in the Ormiston DEA. The matter has been referred to Party Officers,” a party spokesman said.

“Naomi Long advised Robin Swann that she had also referred the leaflet to the Local Government Ombudsman.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Bomb blast victim appeals for Brexiteers to take Irish border concerns seriously

Carbery remains acquisitive as part of its post-Brexit strategy, buoyed by strong 2018 accounts

Pressure on Theresa May to name date for departure as PM

1922 committee rejects rule change to allow MPs to challenge PM leadership

More in this Section

Northern Ireland powersharing talks expected to take step forward

‘Cynics’ dictate delivery of health service

Storm Hannah 'could well pack a punch' with 'power outages likely'

Quinn was ‘best president that Ireland never had’


Going Solo: A single mum reveals the joy and sadness of choosing to have children without a father

Ask Audrey: How to sort out Norries in your back yard

More From The Irish Examiner