UUP will be at Assembly but DUP decries SF ‘stunt’

UUP leader Doug Beattie confirmed yesterday that his party will turn up to next week’s recall of the Assembly that was brought about by a Sinn Fein petition.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 27th May 2022, 7:00 am

The SDLP and Alliance backed Sinn Fein’s demand to reconvene the Stormont Parliament on Monday in a bid to renominate a speaker for the house.

Asked if all nine Ulster Unionist MLAs would attend next week’s Assembly meeting, Mr Beattie said: “If there is a meeting called in the Assembly we will turn up because that’s our job – to turn up to the Assembly.

“We will turn up and if they are nominating a speaker we will nominate a speaker. We will go down the route probably that we went down before. What we will ask is for people to understand that the people of Northern Ireland are suffering and we have the power to help them. And the way to do that is to get both the Assembly and the Executive up and running.”

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UUP leader Doug Beattie. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

A UUP spokesperson later stressed that the party had not backed the Sinn Fein petition.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described the move to recall the Assembly as a “stunt” which he emphasised would not change the DUP’s determination to hold out until there were radical changes to the NI Protocol.

“When you consider that for three long years and on a number of occasions during that period when this Assembly was recalled to elect a speaker that Sinn Fein on each occasion absented themselves from those proceedings. Most people out there will take with a pinch of salt Sinn Fein’s new-found determination to restore working institutions that they abandoned for three years,” the DUP leader said.

“If they think that pulling a stunt like this next Monday is going to change this then they really don’t understand unionism and our determination to stand our ground until we get the decisive action that is required to move us all forward.”