At only 23 years old, Steven Parkhill, the UKIP candidate for East Londonderry, is one of the youngest candidates in this election and a recent graduate from Ulster University.
“With youth unemployment 53% higher here than in the rest of the UK, this is a deplorable indictment of this mandatory coalition at Stormont. The system is past its sell-by date and the longer it endures, the more our self-confidence in Northern Ireland suffers. The people are mature enough to support a voluntary coalition which puts a real legislative programme before the people for approval and does not say – vote for us and we’ll arrange things behind closed doors after the election. The present coalition is a coalition of parties too frightened to push forward. The answer is to put the introduction of voluntary coalition, as opposed to mandatory coalition, before the people in a referendum. A voluntary coalition will, in the long term, save money. We should test Sinn Fein’s adherence to the peace process, both in and out of government. Voluntary coalition would enable a more normal form of politics to develop here, anchored on the very real economic issues that face ordinary people.”