First Minister again fails to rule out resigning from office

matthew o'toole Assembly

First Minister Michelle O’Neill has failed to commit to serving a full mandate without collapsing power sharing under questioning from SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole.

Mr O’Toole still has not received an answer to his written correspondence to the First Minister and deputy First Minister seeking a commitment on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland that neither will exercise a nuclear veto over the functioning of the devolved institutions as both parties have done in the past.

Speaking following his first Question Session with the First Minister as Leader of the Opposition, Matthew O’Toole MLA said:

“After two years of division, deadlock and stalemate that saw public services run into the ground, public sector wages stagnate and people who rely on essential services abandoned, it’s hard to believe that the First Minister is still dodging a simple question about whether or not she will collapse the government.

“Michelle O’Neill has promised to be a First Minister for all but she still won’t commit to being a First Minister for all of this mandate. I have asked three times in the Assembly for a commitment to people that she will not exercise the nuclear veto to collapse power sharing. I have followed it up in writing. It is mind boggling that the First Minister for all has not been able to give a clear answer to anyone.

“The SDLP Opposition will be pursuing reform of the institutions because if power sharing collapses again it won’t recover. We owe it to people waiting years for hospital treatment, public sector workers who have been demanding pay justice and all those who rely on public services to do our jobs. That is the least we expect from the new First Minister and deputy First Minister.”

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