SDLP: Why do SF bother standing?

Sinn Fein has come under attack from the leader of the SDLP over its abstentionist policy, questioning why the party is running at all in the upcoming West Tyrone by-election.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 6:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 6:11 pm
Colum Eastwood
Colum Eastwood

Colm Eastwood said that opinion about Brexit is so split in the House of Commons that every vote counts, and that by failing to take their seats in Parliament, Sinn Fein only “strengthens the hand of the DUP” on the issue.

He was speaking after the Ulster Herald newspaper quoted Ms McDonald as saying that the idea that “you stop Brexit or you save Ireland” by showing up to take seats in Westminster was “the stuff of fantasy”.

Mr Eastwood said: “It beggars belief that the Sinn Féin Leader’s pitch to the public to elect an MP in West Tyrone is to say that Westminster doesn’t matter – that in Westminster Brexit can’t be stopped. Why then are Sinn Féin running in this election at all?”

Sinn Fein are overwhelming favourites to win the seat in West Tyrone on May 3, which was sparked by the resignation of Barry McElduff following the MP’s controversial video which portrayed him balancing a loaf of Kingsmills bread on his head on the anniversary of the infamous republican massacre of the same name.