Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has said the two partners who are joint leaders of the Executive, Sinn Fein and the DUP are currently engaged in some shadow-boxing to appease some of their own hardline members and supporters.
Mr Elliott said: “I have listened to both Sinn Fein and DUP representatives in recent weeks having their public spats and rows, while at the same time plotting behind the scenes to drive forward their joint agenda."
“Their communal co-operation is of course a twin-track approach, first to have a sharing out of their ideals and secondly to ensure that other parties are marginalised as much as possible."
“Not many will be fooled by this public play-acting and sham fighting by Sinn Fein and the DUP when out of the public gaze they continue to develop their personal agendas. They continue with their proposals for what most will see as a terrorist shrine at the Maze site; driving forward changes in the Education system that will allow Sinn Fein to take ideological control of the system and progressing the Council re-organisation which is a typical Sinn Fein/DUP carve-up that will witness huge rates increases throughout Northern Ireland."
“If the DUP are really serious about taking on Sinn Fein then they need to stop the dominance that they are allowing the republicans to have at the centre of government instead of the public nonsense they are engaged in, just to appease an element of their supporters.”