Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has accused the SDLP’s Mark H. Durkan of ignoring DUP discrimination in order to launch political attacks on Sinn Féin.
Raymond McCartney was speaking after Mark H Durkan criticised Sinn Féin and the DUP over the lack of political institutions at Stormont.
“Mark H Durkan lays the blame for the lack of an Assembly and Executive at what he calls the ‘playground politics’ of Sinn Féin and the DUP,” Raymond McCartney said.
“This is entirely disingenuous and does a huge disservice to the wider public who are demanding and are entitled to good governance within institutions that are based on rights and equality of treatment for all citizens.
“There is only one party that stands in the way of that and it isn’t Sinn Féin.
“The DUP are the blockage. Everyone, including Mark H Durkan knows that, but he refuses to call them out because he’d rather make party politics and attack Sinn Féin.
“But in so doing he ignores the fact that his own party has said it is not prepared to go back into a Stormont Executive without significant reform.
“His party leadership also stands with Sinn Féin and the other progressive parties on the issue of rights, equality and Brexit. Is Mark H Durkan now adopting a different stance and advocating a return to government with the DUP on the basis of discrimination and a hard Brexit?
“He is also conveniently ignoring the fact that it was the SDLP who walked out of government in May 2016, eight months before Martin McGuinness resigned. So for Mark H Durkan to be now lamenting the lack of an Executive is quite rich.
“Sinn Féin is determined to restore the power-sharing institutions on the basis of transparency, equality and rights for all. There can be no place for discrimination in any credible administration so if Mark H Durkan believes that an Executive centred on DUP discrimination is better than nothing, he should be honest about that to the wider public and his own party leadership who are both saying something very different.”