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Adams comments on Cameron claims

26 January, 2011

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams commenting on a claim by British PM David Cameron that he has accepted a post as “Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead’ said.

Mr. Adams said:

“The only contact I have had with the British Parliament is a letter I posted to them last Thursday.

That letter said:

“A chara, I hereby resign as MP for the constituency of west Belfast. Go raibh maith agat. Gerry Adams”

When I was told of the British Prime Minister’s remarks today this was the first I heard of this development. I understand Mr. Cameron has claimed that ‘ the Honourable Member for West Belfast has accepted an office for profit under the Crown."

This is untrue. I simply resigned. I was not consulted nor was I asked to accept such an office. I am an Irish republican. I have had no truck whatsoever with these antiquated and quite bizarre aspects of the British parliamentary system.

I am proud to have represented the people of west Belfast for almost three decades and to have done so without pledging allegiance to the English Queen or accepting British parliamentary claims to jurisdiction in my country.

It was a wrench for me to give up the West Belfast seat. I am very grateful to all those citizens who worked and voted for Sinn Fein through good times and bad times in defiance of the British government and its allies in Ireland. But I gave a commitment that when the election to the Dáil was called I would resign the West Belfast seat to stand for the Louth and East Meath constituency and I have.

Mr. Cameron’s announcement that I have become Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, wherever that is, is a bizarre development . I am sure the burghers of that Manor are as bemused as me. I have spoken to the Prime Ministers Private Secretary today and he has apologised for today’s events.

While I respect the right of British parliamentarians to have their own protocols and systems, no matter how odd these may appear to the rest of the world in general and Irish people in particular, the Prime Minister should not make claims which are untrue and inaccurate. The onus is on the Westminster parties to call a bi-election as soon as possible in the West Belfast constituency. In the meantime let me assure the people of West Belfast that the Sinn Fein party will continue to provide our first class constituency service and representation.”

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