UUP leader Doug Beattie accuses Sinn Fein of using Party Leaders’ Forum as ‘political prop’

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie has accused Sinn Fein of using the Party Leaders’ Forum as a “political prop”.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 6:17 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 6:20 pm

It comes as the parties are united in opposition to Secretary of State Brandon Lewis’s proposals to block Troubles prosecutions through a statute of limitations.

The forum is due to meet on Monday ahead of a recall of the Assembly to discuss the legacy proposals, which have also united victims groups in opposition.

However, Mr Beattie said he will not take part in any legacy discussions chaired by Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald.

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UUP leader, Doug Beattie, MLA.
UUP leader, Doug Beattie, MLA.

Mr Beattie said his party is “committed to doing everything possible to ensure that innocent victims retain the right to pursue justice for their loved ones”.

“However, what I will not do in pursuit of that goal is give cover to Sinn Fein who are misrepresenting the role of the Party Leaders’ Forum as a political prop. I will not be attending discussions on legacy chaired by Sinn Fein.

“It was Mary Lou McDonald who said that the IRA campaign was justified, without a thought for the thousands of victims created by the IRA terror machine.

“As I said before, we need to widen the lens of discussions on legacy and that includes focusing in on the role of terrorist organisations, including the IRA, and those who supported them.”

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