SDLP defends MLA in benefits row with Sinn Fein

Daniel McCrossan said he wanted to vomit over SF criticism of the Budget
Daniel McCrossan said he wanted to vomit over SF criticism of the Budget

The SDLP has brushed off claims from Sinn Fein that the party’s West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has tweeted in support of ‘Tory-DUP benefit cuts’.

Sinn Fein issued a statement on Thursday calling on SDLP leader Colum Eastwood to distance himself from Mr McCrossan, claiming he had tweeted that Sinn Féin criticism of the Tory-DUP budget was “bulls***” that made him “want to vomit”.

Sinn Fein MLA Declan McAleer said: “This offensive and crass social media posting from Daniel McCrossan is just the latest outburst from a public representative who seems to have nothing to offer but vitriol and anger.

“Sinn Fein’s opposition to Tory-DUP cuts and our defence of equality and rights may be vomit-inducing for Daniel McCrossan but they are a very serious matter for us and the 224,000 people who gave us the mandate to do precisely that.”

But the SDLP hit back at Sinn Fein’s comments, raising the party’s responsibility for the failure of Stormont to set its own budget.

An SDLP spokesman said: “It is deeply ironic that a party that has refused to get exercised about thousands of vulnerable Universal Credit claimants abandoned to the Tories, refused to get exercised about Tory ministers taking responsibility for our budget and refused to do anything about James Brokenshire negotiating the future of the Irish border is now covering itself in faux outrage.”

Mr McCrossan also used his Twitter account in recent days to slam the IRA’s legacy and to support its victims.