The DUP are already kicking into cynical election mode in Belfast – Hartley
Sinn Féin Councillor for Lower Falls Tom Hartley has branded yesterday’s press release from DUP Councillor, MLA and Junior Minister Robin Newton as ‘ill-informed, cynical and distracting”
Speaking today Councillor Hartley said;
“Like most statements from junior Minister Newton yesterday’s press release will no doubt have gone broadly unnoticed by the mainstream media, however some of his claims warrant correction given their sheer nonsense. Yesterday’s remarks from Robin Newton indicate quite clearly the type of negative and cynical campaign in store for the people of Belfast from his party.
Sinn Féin is replacing a number of Councillors at City Hall in line with our party’s policy of phasing out dual-mandates; perhaps Mr Newton, himself a triple jobber, would care to inform the electorate in east Belfast of when he intends to give up his own Council seat.
Since Sinn Féin entered City Hall in the early 1980s against the backdrop of Unionist intimidation, harassment and violence, we have been to the fore in unashamedly breaking down the blatant sectarian barriers erected by political unionism in this city. Perhaps Robin would like to look at the record of Council’s where his own party is in the majority before he attempts to lecture Sinn Féin on the issues of inclusivity and equality, our record speaks for itself, as does the DUP’s.
Sinn Féin has been to the fore in ensuring that City Hall is opened up to the Belfast ratepayer with initiatives such as the Christmas and Continental Markets, we have sought to put City Hall, once a closed house, at the heart of civic life in Belfast.
Sinn Féin’s new and rejuvenated team will build on the important work of those councillors stepping aside to take up other activist roles within the party, to ensure that the barriers of old continue to be broken down; there is nothing for Unionism, nor indeed anyone, to fear in that.” CRÍOCH