SDLP have abandoned any principle on abstentionism

04 December 2019

Foyle DUP candidate Gary Middleton has said the focus on abstentionism by SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood at the party’s manifesto launch rings hollow given SDLP support to elect an absentee MP elsewhere.

Gary Middleton MLA

Member of the Environment Committee

Gary Middleton

Mr Middleton said, “Colum Eastwood is correct when he says that “decisions are made by those who show up”. Constituents across Northern Ireland have been left without a voice in Parliament because their Member of Parliament does not turn up for work.

Colum Eastwood’s party however has been distributing leaflets in North Belfast advocating support for a candidate who will leave that constituency voiceless. The criticisms ring hollow when they have endorsed someone who would be an absentee MP.

The SDLP had a perfectly defensible position on abstentionism, and it was one respected by many people across the community. Colum Eastwood has absolutely no grounds to criticise an abstentionist MP when the SDLP have abandoned any principle on the issue.”

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