Sinn Fein minister declines opportunity to end Martina Anderson speculation

A senior Sinn Fein figure has appeared to confirm speculation that two of the party’s MLAs in Foyle could be stepping down.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 10:26 am
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 10:37 am
Martina Anderson. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy confirmed that some party restructuring was taking place in Londonderry, although he declined to comment on reports that Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan have been asked to consider their positions.

A report in the Irish Examiner recently suggested that Sinn Fein has been focusing on issues within the Foyle constituency following electoral setbacks.

As well as losing five seats on Derry City and Strabane Council, MP Elisha McCallion lost her Westminster seat to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in 2019.

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Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme on Thursday, Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy described the restructuring in Foyle as “an internal matter”.

He said: “What it means is that the party, like any sensible party in a specific geographical area where you’re having poor election results, which is in contrast to better results right across Ireland, has to recognise that there are issues there.

“The party has to examine those internally in terms of the local organisation and see how they can put together solutions to fix those and to get ready for upcoming elections.”

Mr Murphy added: “That is simply what the party is doing, it is an internal matter and that is simply what is going on in Derry.”

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