Deputy First minister advises DUP to ‘get real’ over party politicking on executive

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has defended the NI Executive’s pathway out of lockdown which does not have indicative dates.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 8:35 am

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has defended the NI Executive’s pathway out of lockdown which does not have indicative dates.

Speaking on Good Morning Ulster she said that “we decided to be driven by data instead of dates”.

Ms O’Neill said that “on every occasion the Health Minister brought forward proposals I have endorsed them”.

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Deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill.

Responding to a question about ‘party politicking’ in the executive, Ms O’Neill said “I believe he is referring to one party”.

And when asked what message she would give to members of the DUP she said: “I think ‘get real’, ‘get with the programme’ and understand this is a challenging situation.

“That is an internal situation for the DUP,” she added. “My role is not to adjudicate on what is going on in the DUP”.

When asked if the DUP wanted dates to be added to the document Ms O’Neill said: “The DUP did not want dates on the document.

“I will be guided by the public health advice and put people’s safety first - this is a good plan to get us into brighter days.”

Earlier Ms O’Neill said the pathway out of lockdown needs a “cautious and sustainable approach”.

She added that “steady calm leadership is needed in a roadmap out of this situation”.

She also said she “understands the frustration” in the community adding that she is also “not seeing my family”.

“We all want children to be outside again,” she said.

“We have set out a range of thing to get to step 2 for sport and leisure - depending on the R number.

“We are in a good position at the moment but there are so many new variants coming on.”