Attwood's growing obsession with Sinn Féin clouding his judgement
Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast Alex Maskey, speaking as figures in relation to central spending by political parties for the 2003 Assembly election were released, said that Alex Attwood's growing obsession with Sinn Féin was clouding his judgement. Mr. Maskey said that rather than fabricating stories he should concentrate on the facts.
Mr. Maskey said:
"In recent times Alex Atwood has become increasingly hysterical in relation to Sinn Féin and once again this evening, in a rush to grab the headlines, he choose to attack Sinn Féin rather than actually reflect the facts.
"Today the Electoral Commission published central party spending for the Assembly elections. In June they will publish constituency returns. Unlike other parties the majority of Sinn Féin's election funding is raised and spent by local constituencies and this will be reflected when these returns are published in June.
"Our central funding of the Assembly election was £28,000, as indicated in today's report. Total constituency returns for the election is in the region of £126,000.
"This mirrors the situation last year when the Electoral Commission allowed parties to reclaim funding which they had spent in relation to the cancelled May elections. At that time Sinn Féin claimed less than £40,000 while the other three large parties claimed between £100,000 and £200,000.
"Sinn Féin supports and practices total transparency in relation to the funding of political parties. Last December we published our full accounts and opened them to public scrutiny.
"We would call on all other parties on the island to follow our lead on this issue rather than engaging in hysterical ranting.."ENDS
According to figures released to the media in October, in relation to amounts claimed back due to the cancelled Assembly election in May - the DUP claimed around £200,000, the UUP claimed more than £150,000 and the SDLP claimed more than £100,000.