Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has said that Sinn Féin will not accept any thing less than full equality in the Local Government Bill.
Speaking today in the debate at the Assembly Mr McElduff said:
“Sinn Féin, with the help of the SDLP, brought forward a Petition of Concern against Amendment 37 of the Local Government Bill which was tabled by the Alliance Party. This amendement tried to equate Good Relations on a par with equality provisions in the Bill.
“While I understand the sentiments of the amendment we need to realise that good relations cannot be built upon inequality when in fact equality is the bedrock of good relations.
“Bringing Amendment 37 into legislation would go against and actually dilute Section 75 of the NI Act 1998 on equality.
“Section 75 was hard fought for and won by Sinn Féin during the Good Friday Agreement negotiations and we will not support any diminution of equality.
“This amendment is based on a flawed analysis and Sinn Féin will not support any attempt to put a largely undefined version of good relations into the act or on a par with equality.”