Givan resigns: Sinn Fein call for early election while SDLP slam ‘gross betrayal’ by DUP

Sinn Fein has called for an early election at Stormont in response to Paul Givan’s resignation.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 7:57 pm
Updated Friday, 4th February 2022, 7:43 am

President Mary Lou McDonald said: “I want to be clear, we cannot stagger on in the months ahead without a functioning executive. Sinn Fein will not facilitate this.

“So in the absence of a functioning executive, an early election must be called and the people must have their say.

“This is one of those defining moments. We can do so much better than this chaotic theatre. Powersharing can work, but it can only work if parties involved are committed to it.

Sinn Fein President Mary-Lou McDonald called for an early Stormont election as First Minister Paul Givan announced his resignation in opposition to the impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol

“Good government can deliver, of that there is no doubt. And that is what we, and we believe the other parties, wants to see happening.

“So if today’s behaviour and decisions of the DUP show anything, it is again demonstrable evidence that we live in a time for real change, and this includes the prospect of constitutional change, as set out in the Good Friday Agreement.”

The Sinn Fein president said: “The DUP actions have consequences, real consequences, for people struggling with the cost of living, consequences for businesses trying to rebuild after Covid, consequences for our health service, for waiting lists.

“And it is a matter of disgrace that the budget now won’t be passed and that investment in services such as cancer care and mental health are now in serious jeopardy.”

The SDLP leadership team of Colum Eastwood and Nichola Mallon said the actions of the DUP amount to a “gross betrayal” of families across Northern Ireland who are struggling to provide for their children, heat their homes and deal with the cost of living.

Mr Eastwood said: “Whatever community you’re from, whatever your background or beliefs, no one benefits from this cynical, and totally predictable, electioneering stunt.”

Nichola Mallon MLA said: “This DUP drama has been concocted by Jeffrey Donaldson as a last desperate attempt to resuscitate their flagging poll numbers ahead of an Assembly election in May. We’ve come to expect shameless stunts from the DUP but putting ordinary people in the firing line is unforgivable.”

Irish Foreign minister Simon Coveney said the decision is “deeply regrettable”.

He commented: “We believe that people want to see a positive commitment from their political representatives to work with each other to resolve issues in Northern Ireland, rather than the creation of any new cliff edges or instability.”

He added: “No positive agenda is served by undermining the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement and the resignation of the First Minister of course has wider implications for the Northern Ireland Executive and its important work.

“The focus of the Government now, as always, will be on working with the political parties and the British Government to support political stability in Northern Ireland, and the effective operation all of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement, including the Executive and indeed the North South Ministerial Council which has also been impacted by the current political instability.

“I am in ongoing contact with the Secretary of State to discuss these developments.”

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