Social Democratic and Labour Party Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA has said that politicians need to focus on doing their jobs as legislators in the Assembly rather than feeding crisis and chaos for narrow party political gain.
The SDLP’s Minister said that no party should give in to the DUP’s goal of an early election where they can stoke up fear and division while vital legislation on welfare mitigations, period poverty and violence against women is left to fall.
Nichola Mallon MLA said:
“Politicians were away from their desks as legislators for three whole years at the beginning of this mandate after Sinn Féin collapsed the government. Now the DUP are seeking a similar outcome because they’re lagging behind in the polls and think this will provide a quick fix to their electoral problems.
“It is outrageous for political parties to put their own selfish interests ahead of the needs of people in our communities who are struggling to heat their homes and feed their families. Not one DUP MLA has stood up and explained how Paul Givan’s resignation helps someone waiting for cancer surgery. They haven’t explained how it helps people with huge energy bills or parents trying to get a school place for their children.
“The suggestion that an early election will solve anything is a fantasy. That is exactly what the DUP wants – an opportunity to create a toxic environment that preys on people’s worst fears and ramps up division. No party should be prepared to indulge that and to risk vital legislation on welfare mitigations for people facing a cliff edge, protections for women and girls from violence and many other issues.
“Politicians have been away from their desks for far too long this mandate. We have a responsibility to use every minute of the time remaining to transform the lives of the people we represent for the better. It is time to show that we will put people first and party political advantage second.”