Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Spellar criticised over handling of Asbos

9 June, 2004

Responding to John Spellar's attack on the Human Rights Commission and the Childrens' Commissioner over their objections to the illegal manner in which he his handling the introduction of anti-social behaviour orders, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children's Issues, Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA Thomas

O'Reilly stated that:

"I find it astounding that John Spellar could justify dismissing the objections of the Childrens' Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission on the grounds that they weren't elected. Who here has ever cast a single vote for John Spellar? Despite the fact that he has no electoral mandate, Mr Spellar feels that he has the right to ride roughshod over the Good Friday Agreement by refusing to allow a full equality impact assessment to be made on his proposed legislation on anti-social behaviour orders.

"Mr Spellar should know that Sinn Féin, the party with the second largest electoral mandate in the six counties, objects strongly to the completely undemocratic method he is using to push this legislation through. He has cut the time for meaningful consultation; he has prejudged the outcome of that consultation in a speech to the British House of Commons; he has failed to carry out an adequate equality impact assessment; he has ignored the Human Rights Commission; he has ignored the Commissioner for Children and Young People; he has failed to consult with young people; and he has failed to make clear the role that will be expected of councils and the Housing Executive under this legislation.

"Anti-social behaviour is a grave issue for our communities and one that needs to be tackled effectively. But it will not be tackled through the introduction of New Labour gimmicks by a direct rule minister that has repeatedly shown his arrogant distain for the people of the six counties." ENDS

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