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SF comment on Tom Elliot speech

16 February, 2011

Commenting on UUP leader Tom Elliot’s speech today, indicating that the UUP are edging towards leaving the power sharing Executive by 2015, Sinn Féin Assembly member Conor Murphy has challenged both the UUP and SDLP to wake up, show some political maturity and get down to the business of delivering for ordinary people through the political institutions.

Mr Murphy said:

“Given the performance of the UUP Heath Minister in recent weeks who has gone AWOL from the Executive and the Assembly as his department lurches from one crisis to another many may not notice if the UUP departed from the Executive full time.

“The fact of the matter is both the UUP and SDLP have many ways been little more than semi detached members of the Executive throughout this term as they both struggled to come to terms with the new political landscape. They want the Ministerial jobs but are unwilling to do any heavy lifting at the Executive table. They adopt one position in the Executive and the opposite in the Assembly.

“In her conference speech SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie made it clear that she saw the future of the SDLP in an alliance with Ulster Unionism rather than with other nationalist or republican parties on the island. The joint approach adopted by both parties to their Ministerial roles indicates that this project is ongoing.

“From our perspective we will continue to stand by the Good Friday Agreement political institutions. We will not allow a dilution of the checks and balances contained within it and we will not run away from the job of delivering for people through the Executive.” ENDS

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