‘Direct rule does not serve unionism’ – Ross

EAST Antrim Assembly member Alastair Ross has said devolution is “significantly better” for the long term interest of unionism and Northern Ireland.

He made the statement following calls from certain loyalists to bring back direct rule following Belfast City Council’s decision to restrict the number of days it flys at City Hall and the subsequent riots.

Mr Ross said: “I believe that where practical, decision making should be taken as close to local level as possible, and therefore I supported the return of devolution to Northern Ireland following the St Andrew’s Agreement.

“At that time very few unionists would have argued that direct rule was in any way beneficial to unionism, indeed time and time again we saw how republicans were able to squeeze concessions from the government and we often were left powerless as legislation opposed by people in Northern Ireland was pushed through parliament with little or no debate, and no opportunity for local representatives to have any meaningful input,” Mr Ross concluded.