Mallon: A year without government is surely a basis for talks
The North Belfast MLA said:
“We are now almost a year a without government and the fact that the only issue being talked about is the venue for talks is shameful. We need a change in attitude from the DUP and Sinn Féin to make progress, not a change in venue.
“Public services are strained, the civil service is without decision makers and the public are without the political leadership they mandated twice last year. It simply isn’t good enough.
“The SDLP has made its position clear, the interests of the people of Northern Ireland are best served through local accountable governance. We will not accept British Direct Rule.
“None of the issues causing the current political deadlock are insurmountable. If the political will exists, progress can be made.
“What is now needed is an independent chair, as Mr Brokenshire can no longer be viewed as an impartial broker given his government’s cosy deal with the DUP.
“The way forward lies in inclusive talks with all parties putting their cards on the table. We need to see the ‘progress’ that the DUP and Sinn Féin have made - if any, over the past number of months. They must come clean with the public and publish the details on their private talks over the past year.
“The only way this place works is if we work together. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement when the people of this island endorsed power sharing, it’s about time that the DUP and Sinn Féin embraced that spirit and utilised the power they have been gifted in the interest of all people here.”