“Liz Truss should stop facilitating the DUP’s destructive and self-serving boycott of government and end her sabre-rattling and reckless threats to break international law.”
By Órfhlaith Begley MP
In May, the people of the north had their say in an Assembly election. They voted for real change.
They voted for parties to work together to tackle the cost-of-living emergency, put money in their pockets and fix the health service. Michelle O’Neill, as First Minister Designate, is ready to lead our team into the Executive to begin that work. Workers and families need help now.
They need an Executive in place. But the DUP, aided and abetted by the Tories, are holding the people to ransom by blocking a government being formed because they refuse to accept the outcome of the election. And this is at a time when ordinary people are struggling to heat their homes and thousands of others are stuck on hospital waiting lists.
The big challenge for the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss is to immediately work to restore the Assembly and Executive. To end the partisan approach which acts the interests of the DUP and disregards the wishes of everyone else.
Liz Truss should stop facilitating the DUP’s destructive and self-serving boycott of government and end her sabre-rattling and reckless threats to break international law. And she should get back to the table for talks with the EU to find solutions and give certainty to businesses in the north. We need a change of policy and tack from this British government.
We need a Labour Party, as the opposition, to hold this Tory government to account and stand against their hostility to the Good Friday Agreement and attempts to tear up the Protocol which is helping businesses here to create jobs.
While the Tories undermine our economic interests and help deny people in the north a government, they have done little to cut household bills. They are allowing big energy companies to walk away with eye-watering profits as they rip people off with huge price hikes.
Action needs to be taken urgently to shift the burden off workers, families and businesses. We need to see taxes on fuel slashed and VAT on energy bills cut to help our businesses to protect jobs and keep their doors open. There are big challenges and a tough number of months ahead for workers and families, but also for political leaders.
Sinn Féin is ready to do the business and form an Executive immediately and do the job that the people elected us to do.
- Órfhlaith Begley is Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone. You can follow her on Facebook and twitter.
- This article was originally published in print in the Labour Outlook Labour Party Conference Special Edition – you can view it here.