Progressives can make gains despite unionist pact – Murphy
Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy said tonight the SDLP must put progressive politics before its own narrow party political interests.
Speaking after details of a unionist unity pact were announced, Mr Murphy said;
"The coming together of the two main unionist parties, the DUP and the UUP, in an election pact on a narrow sectarian and conservative agenda is a challenge to progressive politics.
“These parties have no vision for the future and are happy with crumbs from the Westminster table.
“This demands a strategic response from those of us who wish to see a society based on equality, inclusion and the protection of the most vulnerable.
“Nationalists, republicans and other progressives should come together to ensure maximum representation for parties committed to defending the core public services of health, education and the welfare state; parties which are unequivocally for equality and which are totally opposed to sectarianism, racism and homophobia.
"Martin McGuinness will be speaking to the SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell at the earliest opportunity to explore an appropriate and strategic response to this pro-Tory alliance.
“We can only achieve this if the SDLP is prepared to put progressive, forward looking politics before their own narrow self-interests.”