Ford blasts DUP ‘hypocrisy’ on EU farm funds plea

David Ford accused the DUP of 'breathtaking hypocrisy'
David Ford accused the DUP of 'breathtaking hypocrisy'

Alliance leader David Ford has accused the pro-Brexit DUP of “breathtaking hypocrisy” after DUP Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen travelled to Brussels to request financial assistance for Northern Ireland’s farmers.

After travelling to Brussels on Monday, Ms McIlveen said that she had “stressed the need for immediate support from Europe to support our hard-pressed farmers, particularly those in the dairy sector”.

But Mr Ford said: “As is a matter of public record, the minister and her party campaigned for a Leave vote in the recent referendum, despite the benefits farmers in Northern Ireland have had within the EU.

“Alliance laid out before the referendum how Brexit was the biggest threat facing the farming industry here, saying it would be a disaster.”

He added: “It is nice of the minister to state the agri-food sector is the backbone of the local economy. However, it might be too late for many farmers who will look at this breathtaking hypocrisy by the DUP and rightly ask where the support from that party was during the referendum campaign.”