New Executive ‘can rebuild confidence in politics’ - Foster and O’Neill issue joint statement

The new Northern Ireland Executive.
The new Northern Ireland Executive.

A new power-sharing Executive, based on mutual respect and trust, can help rebuild public confidence in devolved institutions, First Minister Rt Hon Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have stated.

In a joint statement issued this morning the two heads of the newly restored administration said that the work now starts to implement the priorities in the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal.

Speaking after the first meeting of newly formed Executive, First Minister Arlene Foster said: “We are energised and resolute in moving forward together for the benefit of all of the people of Northern Ireland.

“There are significant challenges ahead of us, but equally we have a real opportunity. With strong leadership and collegiate working we will make sure that our public services are transformed.

“Through this new five party Executive based on mutual respect and trust, we can rebuild confidence in the Executive. We will do this by delivering on the things that matter to people in Northern Ireland, together.”

The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “There is a collective will among all parties in the Executive to transform our public services and deliver the improvements that are desperately needed. This won’t happen overnight. It will need a coordinated, sustained approach to bring lasting, positive change for all the people of the north.

“Our immediate priorities will include dealing with the issues impacting the most vulnerable. The extension of welfare reform mitigations, a plan to tackle waiting lists and the urgent publication of a Mental Health Action Plan will be among those pressing actions.

“Politics is never easy and being in a five party Executive comes with its own set of unique challenges. But we have one shared purpose – to improve people’s lives. We are committed to working together to deliver for all in our shared society.”