'SDLP playing politics over Hightown' - Kelly
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has accused the SDLP of playing politics over the decision by Department of Infrastructure officials to approve a waste incinerator in County Antrim.
"The SDLP know full well that Sinn Féin remains resolute in our opposition to the waste incinerator at Hightown.
"So for Mark H Durkan to attempt to exploit this controversy in order to score cheap political points is nauseating.
"As a former minister himself he knows Chris Hazzard, as Infrastructure Minister, was duty-bound to remain neutral during the appeals process.
“Mark H Durkan himself remained neutral during the initial application process for the incinerator and refused to take part in the debate in the Assembly on this issue at the time for this very reason.
“It is only when the appeals process is complete that a minister can make a final decision. Had Chris adopted any other position, he could have undermined the integrity of the entire process and been open to legal challenge.
“All the other parties, including the SDLP, are well aware of this so they should get on with representing the concerns of residents by seeking to overturn this decision rather than exploiting those concerns in order to turn the issue into a political football."