Morrow hits out at SDLP over equality issues

Alliance South Belfast representative Duncan Morrow has hit out at the SDLP claiming the party is “operating a sliding scale of equality” and abusing the petition of concern mechanism

He was speaking after SDLP leader Colum Eastwood stated on today’s Nolan Show he was disappointed a petition of concern had been used in a previous debate on equal marriage, adding he “wanted to get to a stage where people don’t use petitions of concern for issues such as that”.

Yet only yesterday (Monday) the SDLP joined with Sinn Fein to table a petition of concern against amendments to the Employment Bill, which would have seen the removal of Article 71 of the Fair Employment and Treatment Order, exempting schools from anti-discrimination laws.

Mr Morrow said the SDLP was exposed as hypocritical on equality issues.

“Whilst I agree with Mr Eastwood when it comes to disappointment about the tabling of a petition of a concern in relation to equal marriage, the SDLP then brought its own petition of concern about another equality issue.

“Teachers should be appointed on merit, and their ability to teach the subject at hand. The exemption continues to act as an unnecessary aspect of separation in education and a barrier to a shared future for Northern Ireland.

“The amendments to remove it were timely and worthy. The SDLP, like Sinn Fein, continue to pick and choose on equality, and continue to abuse the petition of concern mechanism.”

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