Patsy McGlone MLA for Mid Ulster

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Assembly Questions

Patsy McGlone 12th June 2017

McGlone: Focus must be on Restoring Executive

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster Patsy McGlone has warned that the political parties must now focus on restoring the Executive as a priority. The Mid Ulster MLA was commenting on the political situation ahead of resuming talks at Stormont as part of the SDLP team.

Mr McGlone said, “Whilst the result of the Westminster election was disappointing for the SDLP, we will dust ourselves down and come back stronger.

“That election confirmed the DUP as the largest party in the North. They hold pole position with the influence their seats in Westminster give them on a Tory party determined to form a minority government. The DUP must use that influence for the benefit of all the people of Northern Ireland, and not just for narrow party political advantage.

“But it is ironic to hear Sinn Féin complain about the DUP’s new-found influence. Sinn Féin’s decision to abdicate the responsibility of being an elected public representative in Westminster has gifted the DUP that position. It has also destroyed forever the Sinn Féin abstentionist argument that Northern Irish MPs have no impact in the House of Commons.

“If their seven seats translated into seven active votes the Tories would find it much more difficult to return to power. We could have seen an end to austerity and an end to the cuts to public services. Instead of which, the Sinn Féin MPs will be ignored and the voices of the people in those seven constituencies will be ignored, and we will all pay the price.

“Now, though, all parties must focus on restoring the Executive as a priority.

“There is plenty of work to be done, and the clock is ticking.

“Our society and our economy need locally elected representatives in the Executive making the decisions required to navigate the many challenges ahead, and being held accountable for those decisions in the Assembly.

“The SDLP is ready and willing to do that. The outcome of the resumed talks will show whether other parties are.”