SDLP parity of esteem only works in one direction: Campbell

21 February 2018

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has slammed the SDLP after the Party’s leader Colum Eastwood called for a joint British Irish outcome to be implemented in Northern Ireland.

Gregory Campbell MP

DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office

Gregory Campbell

Speaking after the SDLP Leader’s evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster the DUP MP said:

“During his evidence to the Committee Colum Eastwood talked about parity of esteem. He also indicated that it would be unacceptable to wider Nationalism in Northern Ireland if Direct Rule were to be implemented as that would mean Conservatives taking decisions, and the DUP 'supporting' them.

It is hypocrisy of the highest order to make that assertion and then later in his same contribution call for the British and Irish governments to meet through the BIIC, agree a way forward and implement it. Under questioning from me as to whether this could mean a broadly Nationalist outcome which wouldn't have Unionist support, he did not deny that this could be the outcome. For Colum Eastwood parity of esteem seems only to work in one direction.

Colum Eastwood has learned nothing from last year’s wipe out of the SDLP at the Westminster election, especially in the Foyle constituency. He knew that seat would be under severe pressure if hundreds of Unionist voters didn't vote in the tactical way they had done in previous Westminster elections, despite that he promoted an SDLP agenda that ensured Unionist voters didn't vote for his candidate, and their seat was lost by just over 100 votes.

Most people live and learn from their mistakes, but apparently not the SDLP.”

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