The Labour Party in Northern Ireland (LPNI) has noted the decision of the SDLP to enter a formal partnership with Fianna Fail.
This comes as no real surprise to LPNI members as the SDLP has never had any credible cross-community socialist credentials.
LPNI is currently under review by the NEC of the Labour Party with regard to the running of Labour Party candidates here.
The result of that review has been held up to await the outcome of the SDLP / Fianna Fail negotiations.
To date an obstacle to our campaign to run Labour candidates here has been the ‘sister party’ status of the SDLP, as a result of its membership of the Party of European Socialists (PES).
The leader of the Irish Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD has made it clear (Irish News, Jan 11) that a formal link with Fianna Fail would call into question the SDLP’s continued participation in PES and thus the SDLP’s sister party status.
Following the formal partnership vote, we look forward to the situation with the PES being clarified in the near future.
Clarification will enable Labour’s NEC to complete its review and allow Labour Party candidates to stand here.
It will have no further excuse for any delay.
We also note that many SDLP members and supporters are very unhappy at this direction of travel by the SDLP.
LPNI will offer a welcome home to those whose political priority is to build a strong, cross-community, Labour voice here.
Boyd Black, Labour Party NI