Jim Allister bill highlights TUV leaders DUPlicity - McKay
North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that Jim Allister's proposed Bill to discriminate against former political prisoners is politically motivated and cannot be taken seriously given the proposer's failure to raise the issue of an ex-LVF prisoner being appointed to a senior position in the DUP in North Antrim in 2004.
Speaking today Mr Mckay said:
"In 2004 Jim Allister was a senior member of the DUP in North Antrim and was elected as the party's MEP. In that same year Gary Blair was appointed a party officer in North Antrim even though he was an ex LVF prisoner convicted of the killing of Sinn Féin member Malachy Carey in Ballymoney in 1992. Mr Allister did not oppose this appointment or comment on it in any way at that time.
"I raised this point in the debate today and he refused to discuss it. This exposes the hypocrisy of Jim Allister and the fact that he does not practice what he preaches when the ex political prisoners concerned are loyalist not republican. It is clear from this that his motion is politically motivated.
"This Bill undermines the Good Friday Agreement and the proposer of the motion is clearly not consistent in opposing the appointment of ex political prisoners to positions of office when it's in an organisation that he is a leadership position in.
"That being the case it is regrettable that the SDLP followed Jim Allister into the voting booths this evening in a clear case of political opportunism.
"It is obvious that former political prisoners have played a key role to date and will do in the future. No amount of political opportunism from whatever party will alter that reality."