DUP MP Nigel Dodds has just announced in Parliament that the DUP, SDLP, UUP & Alliance are ready to form an Executive today and exclude Sinn Fein.

If Nigel has this right and I didn’t hear anyone disagree, then we have to ask the smaller parties to outline what progress has been made on the many issues they campaigned for in their manifestos. Have the DUP secretly agreed to implement an Irish Language Act, Marriage Equality, Gender Equality, Truth for Victims and to accept the majority view of the north to remain in the EU.

I suspect they haven’t but would be delighted to be wrong. That leaves questions of these alleged Executive partners. Even without Nigel’s claims we have all heard the above mentioned parties demanding Sinn Fein stop holding up Government and nominate to an Executive.

The questions are really straightforward- what has instilled confidence in the DUP since you all supported a motion of no confidence in December? Do you really support Marriage Equality or is it aspirational? Do you really support an Irish Language Act or were you tapping in to the anger invoked by DUP comments? Do you really support the Truth for Victims? Do you really support Gender Equality & a Woman’s Right to Reproductive Rights? Do you really support Remaining in the EU or Special Status? If the DUP take a future Health Ministry will you support their ban on Gay Men donating blood?

The people who voted for you based on your manifestos have a right to answers on these questions. Only two parties I’m aware of have not been blaming Sinn Fein for the failure to form an Executive, at least not exclusively, and that’s The Green Party and People Before Profit. I voted for the Greens with a second preference for Alliance ( knowing it would transfer if needed) in the last election. Living in Strangford & with no PBP candidate my choices were limited. I seen both parties as progressive but I’m disappointed that Alliance are hammering Sinn Fein for the DUPs sins.

All parties need to clarify if Nigel Dodds statement is accurate and if so how they came to this agreement. If his statement is inaccurate I presume Parties will clarify their position.