News & Media


16 January 2017

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland
Labour leader Brendan Howlin has today pledged the support of the Labour Party to our colleagues in the SDLP, as they begin an election campaign that will conclude on March 2nd.

“Over recent weeks, we have seen a scandal caused by the DUP bring Stormont to a shuddering halt. Sinn Féin, who were initially happy to stand back and let the rot fester, belatedly realised that Colum Eastwood was right to call for public accountabiity into a scandalous misuse of taxpayers’s money.

“Having brought the Assembly down, Sinn Féin are now effectively arguing for the reelection of the same Government that caused the mess. Too many commentators are arguing that this election can’t change any of the issues that brought us to this point. But in reality, the only thing that could achieve such change is the election of a different Government.

“In contrast, the SDLP has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle, and a genuine ability to begin to construct a coherent opposition in Stormont for the first time.

“Over recent months, Colum and I have been working together within the Party of European Socialists, to argue for a Brexit outcome that will protect all of the people of this island. Along with my parliamentary party colleagues, I look forward to standing on doorsteps with him over the coming weeks to ask people to give the SDLP a mandate to deepen that work, and to turn away from the tawdry politics that brought us here.”