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Hermon challenged over Sinn Féin Assembly demands

4 July, 2005

Sinn Féín MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has hit out at the UUP MP Silvia Hermon after she demanded that the British government remove the salaries from the 24 elected Sinn Féin Assembly members.

Ms Gildernew said:

" The British government embarked sometime ago on a deliberate policy of discriminating against Sinn Féin and the people who vote for our party. This has taken a variety of forms including removing financial support for our Westminster operation and aiding our political opponents through policy and development grants.

" Despite this campaign Sinn Féin have continued to provide an unrivalled constituency service and continue to expand and grow our support base. Our Assembly members in line with party policy take a working wage and contribute the rest of the allocated salary to party development. They are unlike many other MLAs full time political activists working day and daily for the people who elect them.

" This call by the UUP MP Silvia Hermon is obviously the latest stage in their campaign to try and out do the DUP. However given the recent public pronouncements of Silvia Hermon this demand is even more bizarre. It was only a matter of months ago that Silvia Hermon was demanding that the entire Assembly be wound up. Now after a slap down from her Assembly colleagues in the UUP she appears to have adopted the old UUP favourite of a unionist parliament for a unionist people excluding the representatives of the largest nationalist party the six counties." ENDS

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