Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said today that Peter Robinson continues to duck responsibility for the growing difficulties in the political process.
Conor Murphy said:
“Peter Robinson’s response to Gerry Adams’ warning that the political process is facing its greatest challenge since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement ignores his own responsibility for the growing difficulties we are facing. His pandering to anti-agreement elements and his support for anti-working class Tory cuts are clear evidence that, under Peter Robinson's leadership, unionism is moving steadily to the right.
“For example, he unilaterally walked away from commitments made in the Programme for Government.
“He and his party walked away from the Haass process.
“They walked out of the talks on flags, parades and the past on the back of an Orange Order demand to parade through a Catholic area. That is the real measure of DUP politics.
“Instead of all-party talks he has joined with anti-agreement unionists including the UVF, which has been orchestrating a campaign of sectarian and – increasingly _ racist attacks in East Belfast.
"The unionist shift to the right is reflected also in their support for the anti-working class policies of the Tory party in London.
“Sinn Féin for our part makes no apology for opposing vicious Tory welfare cuts.
“If implemented in the way the DUP want, these cuts would take money out of the pockets of the disabled, of parents with young children, of low paid workers and the unemployed. As has already happened in Britain, these cuts would drive thousands of people in areas like Ballybeen and Ballymurphy into increased poverty and dependence on charities and food banks. Is that Peter Robinson's vision for our society?
“Peter Robinson needs to get back into talks to deal with the outstanding issues of the Good Friday Agreement and the Haass process. He needs to stand up for his constituents and he needs to stand up to the British government in resisting these Tory cuts.
"Tackling racism and sectarianism, defending the poor and the vulnerable, building a process of reconciliation – these should be the priorities for Peter Robinson rather than the bizarre obsession with an Orange parade in North Belfast.”