The Labour Party will have “no credibility when it makes pronouncements about Northern Ireland, unless it starts to run candidates in elections here”, according to NI Conservatives’ spokesman, Mark Brotherston. Mark made his comments as the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Ivan Lewis, prepared to address Labour’s annual conference, in Manchester.
“No doubt Mr Lewis will use his speech to lecture Conservatives, who have spent their time in office delivering for Northern Ireland and who are committed to giving voters here a say in who forms the next government at Westminster”, Mark observed. “Meanwhile, the Labour Party continues to treat people in Northern Ireland like second class citizens and shows contempt for its local members, who have campaigned for decades for the right to stand candidates.”
“Ivan Lewis intends to set up a commission to make recommendations helping people who are on benefits, or low pay and who feel excluded from society. Will this body examine whether there is political discrimination by the Labour Party and what the effects of excluding people from electoral participation might be?”
“David Cameron remains absolutely committed to bringing Northern Ireland into the mainstream of UK politics and giving people a say on critical issues like tax, defence and the constitution, which are decided at Westminster. Ed Miliband prefers to have an arrangement with the SDLP, which is, after all, a party committed to breaking up the United Kingdom. It makes a hollow joke of Labour’s attempts to hijack the Conservative slogan ‘One Nation’.”
“In government Conservatives have got on with delivering for Northern Ireland. We’ve lifted almost 90,000 people here out of tax altogether, saved the average motorist £360 per year by cancelling Labour’s fuel duty rises, fixed the economy and got 36,000 more local people into work since 2010. The Conservative Party is committed to Northern Ireland electorally and is delivering for Northern Ireland in government. In contrast Ivan Lewis, Ed Miliband and Labour have no credibility when they talk about our part of the UK and show very little sign of changing their disinterested stance.”