SDLP meets Labour Secretary of State

colum eastwood

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP and South Belfast and Mid Down MP Claire Hanna met with new Labour Secretary of State Hilary Benn this evening to discuss immediate priorities and challenges facing people across Northern Ireland.

Mr Eastwood said that the constructive meeting built on the strong relationship between the two parties.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP said:

“Throughout the election campaign, we promised that SDLP MPs would go to work straight away to fight for people and communities across Northern Ireland. This evening we have had a constructive meeting with the new Secretary of State building on the strong relationship between our parties and our shared ambition to get things done quickly.

“As we have said from day one our first priority is in delivering emergency aid to our health service, we pressed the Secretary of State to make this the most important priority of the government’s first 100 days in office and I am pleased that Labour have made health such an early focus. People who have been waiting years for treatment need to know that we’ve got their backs.

“We also discussed our shared objective of repealing and replacing the toxic Tory Legacy Act immediately. The SDLP worked hard to make this an early commitment for a Labour government and we will be pushing hard to see it implemented quickly.

“In common with others we have also asked questions about the British Government commitment to Casement Park. This is an opportunity to showcase our shared society and deliver investment in a community which deserves it.

“I am impressed with Hilary Benn and with the efforts to restore and renew Britain’s relationship with Ireland which has been badly damaged by the Tory Brexit years. Communities across these islands can thrive and will benefit from governments, parties and political leaders who understand the benefits of cooperation in the common interests of the people we represent.

“This was a positive first meeting with the new government. We will have deeper engagement in the coming days and weeks. I know that we will be able to deliver more for people and communities across the North.”

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