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Sinn Féin MP to travel to Tory Party Conference for the first time

3 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy will tomorrow travel to speak at a debate on the fringes of the British Conservative party conference in Blackpool.

This will be the first occasion that Sinn Féin have appeared at the annual Tory conference.

The 'CHAMP' debate which takes place in the Savoy Suite, Savoy Hotel, Queens Promenade, Blackpool begins at 12.30pm and will also involve contributions from DUP MP Jeffery Donaldson, Tory MP David Lidington and former UUP MP David Burnside.

Speaking today Mr Murphy said:

" Tomorrow I will be the first Irish republican to speak at an event attached to the British Conservative Party conference. Given the record of the British Tory party and their policy towards Ireland over many years this event will provide for the first time an opportunity for Sinn Féin to place on the record the fact that there are those who share a different vision of the future. And in particular a different vision of the future relationship between Ireland and Britain.

" The British Conservative party claim to support the Good Friday Agreement. If this is the case then they need to join with us and other pro-Agreement voices to set as a priority in the time ahead the re-establishment of the political institutions and the implementation of the other outstanding Agreement matters.

" Tomorrows debate will of course also be the first platform which Sinn Féin has shared with the DUP since the recent historic initiatives by the IRA leadership. Sinn Féin want to see the opportunity which this historic move now provides grasped and built upon in the time ahead." ENDS

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