Alliance Assembly member Seamus Close has said that SDLP leader Mark Durkan’s recent lecture to unionists about their responsibilities under the Agreement would have greater credibility if the SDLP did the same.
Mr Close said: “Mark Durkan has spent much time lecturing everyone about how they have responsibilities, yet the SDLP chose to shirk their duty to the Agreement when last October. Instead of acting to save the institutions, the SDLP deserted them.”
“As we approach another deadline, nationalist politicians should make it clear that they will use the mechanisms in the Agreement to defend it in future – and if that means backing the exclusion of two ministers to ensure the Assembly’s survival, so be it.”
“You cannot on one hand say that republican action led to suspension, yet on the other fail to lift a finger to do anything to prevent it. This ‘do nothing’ attitude towards IRA behaviour is simply granting them a license to break the rules of democracy when it suits them.”
“To me, it appears the SDLP are suffering from political Stockholm syndrome; they are in danger of being seen as nothing more than sympathetic political hostages for Sinn Fein.”