David Ford becomes NI Justice Minister

Monday 12 April 2010 22.32
David Ford - 'Committed to being a constructive force'
David Ford - 'Committed to being a constructive force'

The Northern Ireland Assembly has elected Alliance Party leader David Ford as the new Justice Minister at Stormont.

Mr Ford was nominated by his fellow party colleague, Naomi Long, who said he was committed to being a constructive force in the new post.

He received parallel consent from all parties in the Assembly and was thereby elected.

The Ulster Unionists and the SDLP also nominated their party members, Danny Kennedy and Alban Maginnis, for the Justice and Policing post, but neither received the necessary cross-community votes.

Sinn Féin and the DUP did not nominate any of their MLAs for the role.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said his party would give David Ford all the support it could in his new role.

Mr Adams said he would have preferred to have seen the appointment of a republican politician, but wished Mr Ford well in the role.

He described the transfer of justice and policing powers as a ‘very significant step forward’.

Mr Adams also condemned this morning's car bomb attack on an army base in Co Down.

He said that political reform, such as the transfer of justice and policing powers, was the best way to get the message across to dissidents that their actions were futile.

He added that dissident republicans should be asked to outline the rationale behind their actions.