SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the absence of a single mention of the restoration of the political institutions in Northern Ireland during the King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament demonstrates clearly that the privatised process between the DUP and the British Government isn’t working.
Mr Eastwood said that the Tory government’s legislative programme is threadbare and there is a clear imperative for people in the North to install a Labour administration.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The Tory government’s legislative programme is bare. They have run out of ideas and are quickly running out of road. Dropping key commitments to ban conversion therapy, focussing on narrow nativist rhetoric around immigration and scaling down the ambition to tackle the climate crisis represent a government on its last legs.
“Anyone from the North listening to the speech in the hope of hearing more about progress on restoring the democratic institutions will be sorely disappointed. The privatised process between the DUP and the government, to the exclusion of all other traditions, is also running out of road. Patients waiting for hospital treatment, parents at their wits end trying to provide for their kids, schools forced to cut back on key programmes and supplies - that is what the DUP/Tory axis is delivering and it isn’t good enough.
“The SDLP opposition is ready to get to work with big ideas around childcare provision, creating sustainable jobs in every region across Northern Ireland, advancing healthcare transformation and making sure that everyone has the chance to make a life for themselves here at home. But that its being frustrated by the failure to govern.
“If the talks do not reach a decisive conclusion in the short term then there must be a new conversation about how power is shared between the traditions across the North. In the SDLP’s view that means a new model of shared stewardship between the Irish and British Governments. People across our communities are running out of patience with this circus - it’s time to get back to government now.”