Sinn Fein does not rule out electoral pacts to defeat DUP Brexiteers

Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein Party vice president, at a press conference in Parliament Buildings, Stormont with Elisha McCallion MP. Pic by David Young/PA Wire
Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein Party vice president, at a press conference in Parliament Buildings, Stormont with Elisha McCallion MP. Pic by David Young/PA Wire
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Sinn Fein has signalled a willingness to co-operate with other pro-Remain parties to challenge DUP Brexiteer candidates if a general election is called.

Party vice president Michelle O’Neill did not rule out electoral pacts with other “progressive” parties to maximise the chances of taking seats in Northern Ireland.

Mrs O’Neill also made clear Sinn Fein would not be reconsidering its Westminster abstentionist policy ahead of any snap poll. She was at Stormont on Wednesday to chair an election planning meeting with party colleagues.

“Clearly we are moving very quickly towards an election, the Sinn Fein team stands ready to fight that election,” said Mrs O’Neill.

“This election will be about Brexit, this election will be about fighting back very hard, very strong against the Tory/DUP sponsored Brexit that brings nothing good for our people here, nothing good for our economy, nothing good for our peace process.”

In response, DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “The only policy which seems to bind these parties is a desire to reduce DUP influence at Westminster.”

Meanwhile, Mrs O’Neill has insisted there is no bad blood between her and party colleague John O’Dowd, who is vying for her job. He is hoping to secure nominations ahead of a likely challenge at November’s Ard Fheis.