Selfish DUP needs to see sense on Executive: SDLP leader Colum Eastwood

The DUP’s refusal to nominate a speaker to the Assembly demonstrates a contempt for families trying to heat their homes and put food on the table, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has said.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th May 2022, 8:15 am
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 8:17 am

Mr Eastwood accused the DUP and its party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson of “selfish actions” by failing to propose a speaker and thus block the creation of a new Executive to run Northern Ireland.

He said one party “cannot be allowed to keep our institutions in cold storage indefinitely” against the wishes of the public.

The Foyle MP continued: “We have repeatedly acknowledged the small amount of issues that remain outstanding around the protocol and the damage it has caused to community relations, but we need to see constructive negotiations to resolve those issues and get on with dealing with the problems that are impacting people in their daily lives.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“I am calling on the DUP to see sense, to acknowledge the challenges facing families in our communities.”

The SDLP leader added: “The DUP have been repeatedly led up the hill by the British government and have been let down every time. It should be clear to everyone here that Boris Johnson and his cronies have no interest in delivering for people in the North.

“The only way we are going to get to grips with the issues impacting people here are with a functioning Executive and Assembly and it’s time the DUP realised that.”

The republican anti-abortion party Aontu, meanwhile, has written to all 90 newly elected MLAs challenging them to forgo their salaries until a fresh Executive is created.

Tyrone-based deputy leader of Aontu, councillor Denise Mullen, said: “MLA salaries should be suspended until an Executive is formed. In no other profession would you be paid for refusing to do your jobs. Only in Stormont. There can be no excuses now.”