‘SF and hypocrisy are common bedfellows’: Party silent over Johnson lockdown allegations as PM fights for political survival

Former health minister Mervyn Storey has said Sinn Fein’s relative silence over the fate of the prime minister is linked to the “hypocrisy” displayed by the party over the Bobby Storey funeral.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 10:06 am
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 11:03 am

The DUP MLA was speaking to the News Letter yesterday, on a day when Sinn Fein issued six press releases about everything from student fees to road maintenance – but with no mention of Boris Johnson’s alleged rulebreaking.

The News Letter emailed Sinn Fein’s press office asking for the party’s position, but heard nothing back.

The Twitter accounts of Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald were likewise silent on the subject.

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The Bobby Storey funeral

Mr Storey said of Mr Johnson’s apology: “It’s disappointing it’s taken the prime minister this length of time to come out with what he said today.”

As for Sinn Fein, he said that it “would not surprise” him if the party does in fact end up issuing a statement condemning the actions of the prime minister, because “hypocrisy and Sinn Fein are kind of common bedfellows”.

He said: “They’ve no credibility on the issue of anything to do with implementation of the regulations given their public display on the streets of Belfast, when the movement was more important than healthcare.”

Mr Storey said that “the rule makers should not be the rule breakers” – but that Mr Johnson’s future is ultimately a matter for the Tory Party.

Mervyn Storey

He also praised the tearful contribution of party colleague Jim Shannon in the Commons on Tuesday, when he broke down over having lost a relative during the lockdown – with the prime minister and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also acclaiming his speech.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson said that there is plenty of insincerity in the Commons, but that Mr Shannon is not guilty of it.

“Jim has experienced the raw emotion of what it’s like to abide by the rules and the effect that’s had on his family,” he said.

“I see many people in the House of Commons. They could win Oscars for their performances.

“They’re shallow, they’re only for effect.

“I know Jim was genuine when he expressed that emotion.”

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