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SDLP approach all about petty self interest

2 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Policing spokesperson Alex Maskey today said that nationalists and republicans would be disappointed as once again the SDLP put self interest above the need to see powers on policing and justice transferred. His comments came after the SDLP leader Mark Durkan once again put securing the Ministry from his party in front of actually securing the transfer of the powers.

Mr Maskey said:

"The recent enthusiasm being displayed by the SDLP to assume a future justice ministry is interesting given the fact that the SDLP never previously argued for such powers to be transferred. Indeed in 2001 the then Deputy Leader Seamus Mallon told us that no further policing legislation was possible. Sinn Féin's negotiating strategy proved him wrong and further important changes were secured in legislation.

"Many nationalists will be disappointed that at a time when maximum pressure needs to be maintained on the British government to deliver their St. Andrews Agreement commitments in this area senior members of the SDLP choose once again to put narrow self interest ahead of ensuring that these powers are transferred speedily.

"In order to engage in petty political point they would prefer to align themselves with the most reactionary elements of political unionism rather than join with Sinn Féin and demand the delivery of peoples basic rights and entitlements.

"Mark Durkan is once again putting securing Ministerial trappings for his party ahead of the need to actually secure the transfer of these powers. They would serve national and democratic interests far better if they joined with Sinn Féin in demanding that the British government honour their St. Andrews commitments." ENDS

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