SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has challenged new British Prime Minister Liz Truss to prioritise the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland during their first engagement at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons this afternoon.
The Foyle MP said that people across the North are being held to ransom while food, fuel and energy bills continue to place unbearable pressure on working families and vulnerable households.
Mr Eastwood challenged the new Prime Minister to clarify whose side she is on – the people of Northern Ireland who need a government or the DUP who only look after themselves.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“Liz Truss needs to decide whose side she is on – the people of Northern Ireland or the DUP’s.
“We have been without devolved government for more than 200 days now while essential food, fuel and energy costs have spiralled out of control placing unbearable pressure on working families and vulnerable households. Caretaker Ministers are asleep at the wheel and the Tory government has spent months on self-indulgent in-fighting. It is a scandalous abdication of responsibility.
“The new British Prime Minister needs to get hands on now. The narrow privatisation of the process to issues relating to the protocol between the DUP and the Conservative Party has failed. It ignores the substantial mandate given to other parties and political leaders in Northern Ireland that must be respected.
“We are now more than 100 days past an election that saw a nationalist receive enough support to become First Minister for the first time. The DUP cannot deny that reality forever. They cannot be allowed to frustrate the democratic will of our people. It is time for Jeffrey Donaldson to honour his pledge to serve as deputy First Minister, restore government and get back to work to meet the substantial needs of the people we all represent.
“Liz Truss needs to address this situation immediately. People have waited long enough for the DUP to get their act together. Enough is enough.”