Alliance Leader Naomi Long Bids For EU Seat

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Alliance Party leader visits District on European election campaign trail.

Alliance party leader and European election candidate Naomi Long MLA visited Downpatrick and Saintfield this past weekend as part of a tour around Northern Ireland ahead of the vote for the European parliament on Thursday 23rd May.

In Downpatrick Mrs Long stopped in at the Downpatrick Artisan Market, a community-led Council-funded initiative spearheaded by local Alliance Councillor Patrick Brown. She also had the chance to meet traders and local charity Life Change Changes Lives, discussing the need for more funding for mental health and suicide prevention projects in the area.

Naomi Long, Alliance Party Leader, third left, with local Down councillors from Ards and North Down and Newry Mourne and Down councils.

In Saintfield Mrs Long launched an afternoon of reaching out to the local people led by Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong and newly elected Alliance Party local councillors Patrick Brown, Gregory Bain, Lorna McAlpine and Nick Mathison (pictured above).

Speaking about her visit Mrs Long said: “It was great to call with our local Alliance teams in South Down and Strangford on Saturday. When elected leader, I made a commitment to grow Alliance right across Northern Ireland, and that is exactly what the team here have achieved over the last few years – dramatically increasing our vote in multiple elections and proving that Alliance is an electoral force to be reckoned with right across the province.

“If Alliance is to win its first seat in Europe and send a strong, cross-community, pro-remain voice to Brussels, we will need the support of South Down voters – a constituency that voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in 2016.

“Brexit hasn’t even happened yet, but already it has brought increased chaos and division.  It has paralysed our politics, placed jobs at risk and threatened the stability of communities across, which is why I’m delighted to be going across Northern Ireland and engaging with people on the ground.

“The third seat is within reach and together we can make it happen.  Brexit is not an orange versus green issue and I am not an orange or green politician.  I passionately believe our diversity is a strength – that we can achieve better together, for everyone in Northern Ireland.”