The Alliance Party candidate for next month's general election has said the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone have had enough of “sectarian outcomes”.

The Enniskillen councillor hit out at Unionist pacts and the “parachuting” of Pat Cullen.

He said: “We’ve had enough of sectarian outcomes. We've had enough of Orange and Green politics. All it's done over the past 20 years, is push moderate nationalists away from the SDLP into the arms of Sinn Féin.

“People are fed up with Unionist pacts, they have done nothing but harm the cause of unionism and that has been shown across the board.

Mr. Roofe hit out at the “parachuting in” of Pat Cullen to contest the election for Sinn Féin despite the fact his party has been accused of the very same during several elections in the past having selected candidates who were not from Fermanagh. These included: Matthew Beaumont, Noreen Campbell, Hannah Su, Vasundhara Kamble and Stephen Farry.

He said: “Putting someone like Pat Cullen in with no connections to the constituency, parachuting somebody in that they want to have a seat is something that the Conservatives would do, “Michelle Gildernew, whilst an abstentionist MP was from the area and across the board was seen as a hard worker for the community.

“Are we really saying that when Pat Cullen gets off the plane from London, she's going to drive past her own house and drive down to Fermanagh for the weekend?” said Mr. Roofe, who will soon be moving back home to Fermanagh from Belfast having been house-hunting since before he was elected.

Mr. Roofe says the issue of the cost of living is pertinent to voters: “It's still hitting people from every walk of life, and in particular, mortgages, people are starting to really get the brunt of the Tory mini-budget with their mortgages coming in for renewal.

The pharmacist also noted that health and the problems with waiting lists and funding were a big discussion on the doors.

On wider issues, he wants to see a ceasefire in Gaza with a "two-state solution for Palestine and Israel".

Asked if genetics or science fact determined gender, Mr. Roofe said: “I am not going to challenge people who identify as a different gender than then the sex they were born with".

"We as a community should realise that trans people probably have the largest amount of victimisation in our society. I don't think anyone would choose to be trans with the difficulties that they face throughout their lives.”

Asked if he would vote to legalise cannabis, he said that he and the party "have no position".

 “I do know that the Liberal Democrats manifesto came out with that. Our manifesto is still getting the I's dotted and the T's crossed.”

On Fermanagh and Omagh District Council secretly voting for free meals, he said: “I would have had no issue voting in public".

"We as a party voted against it. As readers will probably remember my caricature was taken. That particular week, I did some unpaid overtime and came straight from work, had I not taken a meal I wouldn't have eaten all day. I am perfectly happy to accept the criticism for that.”

While remaining realistic in terms of Alliance's general election history in this constituency, he said: "I think we're on course for our best ever election."