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SDLP accused of letting the DUP off the hook

3 July, 2006

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy has accused the SDLP of letting the DUP off the hook by suggesting that other parties are standing in the way of the restoration of the power-sharing Executive.

Mr Murphy said:

"I find it deeply disappointing that on an almost daily basis the SDLP are prepared to let the DUP off the hook. There is only one party standing in the way of the restoration of the power-sharing Executive and that is the DUP. To suggest anything otherwise is totally dishonest.

"Sinn Féin has consistently argued that there is nothing standing in the way of a return of the Executive except the intransigence of the DUP and that if all the parties were equally willing that we could have the successful election of the First and Deputy First Ministers tomorrow.

"Throughout the working of the 'preparation for government' committee Sinn Féin have constructively engaged particularly on issues such as the Peace Dividend. We put proposals to the committee for a delegation of party leaders to jointly put the case to the British Chancellor Gordon Brown for a Peace Dividend when he was here and we have argued for a sub-committee to deal with the issue.

"However, Sinn Féin will not be bullied by the DUP or anyone else into participating in debates in the powerless Hain Assembly. The SDLP assured us before May 15th that they would not join in with the DUP's Shadow Assembly game plan or Wendy House politics. Yet at the first opportunity this is what they have done.

"The DUP's only objective is to secure a Shadow or Corporate type Assembly dominated by unionist majorities that runs past the November 24th deadline." ENDS

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