Kelly calls on voters in North Belfast to stand up for democracy
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has called on the people of North Belfast to reject any attempt to remove the democratic choice of the electorate to choose its representatives.
Speaking after claims that the DUP are involved in a deal with the Tories to secure the Speaker's position at Westminster, Mr Kelly said;
"This smacks of a grubby deal which places narrow self advancement and ambition above the needs of the people.
"Instead of attempting to secure positions for selfish reasons the DUP should be focusing their attention on taking on the Tories over their savage cuts to public services.
"Reports in British newspapers that Nigel Dodds was being offered the Speaker's position at Westminster is a further sign that the DUP fear change in North Belfast.
"There was a well publicised attempt by the Tories, at the last debate in the Commons before the Election, to change the method of selecting the Westminster Speaker.
"This would have meant that the Government, and not the backbenchers would have chosen who would be the Speaker.
"The attempt to change the rules failed as the present Speaker realised what was afoot.
"The Speaker of the House of Commons at Westminster automatically retains his or her seat at the following election. So this is clearly another attempt to treat the voters of North Belfast with contempt.
"That schemes like this are even being considered is a sign of the increasing nervousness on the part of the DUP over the future of the North Belfast seat.
"I am calling on the people of North Belfast to see through this crass attempt to gerrymander the constituency by voting for real change on May 7."