Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that people are furious with political leaders who have insisted on stringent restrictions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic but go on to flout those regulations for their own selfish purposes.
The Foyle MP was speaking from Westminster where embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggled to defend his administration’s Christmas celebrations in the middle of lockdown.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The restrictions that have been introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic have been absolutely necessary to protect people and prevent our health service from becoming overwhelmed. I have no doubt that they have saved lives and staved off an even worse scenario for our communities.
“But the cliché that we were all in it together has been smashed by the actions of senior political leaders who flouted the restrictions for their own selfish purposes. People are right to be furious with politicians who set tough rules and high standards but fall far beneath them in their own personal behaviour. I am furious about it too. I watched as friends and colleagues died during this pandemic, unable to say goodbye or pay respects to grieving families. The selfishness is unforgiveable.
“Boris Johnson is just the latest example of how not to behave in public office. The British Prime Minister had very little personal authority to begin with but his actions have shredded the authority of his entire administration at a time when people need to listen to public health guidelines. We have seen examples of it in the North as well.
“I would appeal to people, don’t let your anger at these political elites overcome your obligation to your family, friends and community. Political selfishness can be addressed at the ballot box, but right now we need to help each other and help our health service. I am again asking people to get vaccinated, to get their booster and to follow all the guidance around mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing.”