Ulster Unionist Leader, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, announced that the Ulster Unionist Party will take its Northern Ireland Executive place before the meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly today.
Mr Aiken said:
“This is an important day. MLAs have not sat in the Assembly Chamber for three years. At long last the people of Northern Ireland are able to see the people they elected, doing their jobs.
“There are elements in this deal that are welcome and which we strongly argued for: pay parity for nurses, increased spending in health, the mental health strategy, children`s funeral fund, 3 funded cycles of IVF treatment, climate change legislation, and the increase in police numbers.
“However there are elements of this deal that we remain totally opposed to - in particular the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement legacy provisions and the Irish language Act.
“We are very disappointed that our well thought out and reasoned ideas about making the Executive more accountable, responsible and transparent have either been watered down or significantly diminished.
“However it is very clear that the mood of the people is to get effective government back and the best way to hold Sinn Fein and the DUP to account is by the Ulster Unionist Party being in the Executive.
“Therefore today, the Ulster Unionist Party has decided to take its seat at the Executive table.”