Gregory Campbell: Why does Sinn Fein continue to get MP allowances while not taking Westminster seats?
DUP MP Gregory Campbell has renewed his call for the government to act over the Westminster parliamentary allowances paid to Sinn Fein.
Mr Campbell said: “It is 15 years since the Labour government ensured Sinn Fein MPs receive so-called ‘representative money’ even though they don’t take their seats.
“Opposition parties receive allowances from parliament to help carry out their parliamentary duties both in the constituency and in parliament.
“According to parliamentary answers, this now means that over £1.92 million has been paid from the UK taxpayer to carry out a job which they are not carrying out.
“I have repeatedly called on the UK Government to stop this practice.”
The East Londonderry MP said it was baffling that MPs who refused to take their seats in parliament should receive allowances.
He added: “If MPs are not willing to do their job fully why should taxpayers pay for it?
“Sinn Féin changed their policy to take their seats in Stormont and in the Dail but not at Westminster, although London’s cash is not rejected. Those who don’t take their seats should not receive benefits.
“Previously a spokesman for the Conservative Party said: ‘In opposition, we said an incoming Conservative government would look at this. Clearly, we don’t have a majority Conservative government. We have always regarded this issue primarily as one for the House of Commons.’
“The Conservatives who now do have a majority need to stop ‘looking at’ and start ‘acting on’ the matter.”