Aiken requests meeting of Party Leaders’ Forum to discuss Recovery Plan for Northern Ireland

The Ulster Unionist Leader, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, has written to the First and deputy First Ministers requesting that they reconvene the Party Leaders’ Forum to discuss a Recovery Plan for Northern Ireland. The full text is below:

Recovery Plan for Northern Ireland

Dear Arlene and Michelle,

I want to raise the issue of recovery planning and setting the context for the next phase of how we, collectively, deal with the next stage of the CoVID19 outbreak.  There is a clear requirement that we urgently set in place support for the recovery, or in many cases, survival of many of our businesses large and small.  While you both will have availed of the medical and scientific advice that will show that whilst relaxations may cautiously be applied when the peak has passed, there is not, nor should there be, any expectation that we will revert to ‘business as usual’ any time soon.

It is clear from the many soundings that I, and I suspect you both have as well, taken from across our society and beyond that a coordinated, centrally led programme is needed. Within the context of the restoration of government here, there was an expectation that a revised PfG would be crafted, along with bringing forward the aspects of ‘New Decade – New Approach’ (NDNA) that consensus could be achieved around.

I would ask that consideration is given to reprofiling and reprioritising NDNA to take account of our current situation and focus on delivering a Recovery Plan. I am also requesting you to reconvene the Party Leaders Forum so that we can agree to create a new ‘PfG’, one based on the recovery from CoVID-19 – a government action plan that can, and should, restore vitality and strength to the Northern Ireland economy and give us the framework to weather the next wave of this pandemic.

Looking forward to your early response.

Keep safe.

Yours sincerely


Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA

Leader, Ulster Unionist Party


Leader SDLP

Leader Alliance Party

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