Before we know it, May will be here and with it the Westminster election, an election that in East Belfast will be seen as a real social test as to whether the people of Northern Ireland are committed to progressing a truly shared future.
Voters are facing the choice of whether to continue to step forward for peace, social inclusion and prosperity, or to retreat along sectarian lines where political parties continue to represent only one section of the community.
Alliance has consistently been working hard for our constituents, proving we are the only choice in East Belfast dedicated to working for everyone there, as well as throughout Northern Ireland and at Westminster in my role as Member of Parliament.
I have the honour of being Alliance’s East Belfast candidate, allowing me to continue my journey of serving everyone in the constituency and giving me the opportunity to continue to carry on my work at Westminster, supporting and promoting the interests of East Belfast.
Although voters don’t have to make their choice until May, the hard work has steadily been going on, both in the background and under full public scrutiny, with members and non-members alike taking part in action days, surveying and leaflet drops among other events.
I have also been working hard, both in my role in Westminster, representing all the people of East Belfast on a number of issues, and also in the constituency itself, meeting residents and carrying out my duties to help them on a wide-ranging number of issues.
We undoubtedly face challenges, tests that can only be overcome if we work together as a united community, focusing on building for the future and creating stability.
While other parties have been publicly single-minded about wanting to 'take East Belfast back,' Alliance is focused on taking East Belfast and Northern Ireland forward. Alliance is the only party clearly dedicated to working for the whole community and I urge you to step forward and help in the campaign.