26 July 2019
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell and Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton have welcomed Secretary of State Julian Smith to Londonderry.
Speaking afterwards Mr Middleton said,
“When we heard this morning that Mr Smith was coming to the City, we sought to welcome him on his first visit to Londonderry.
I’m delighted that he came to the City and we were able to have a brief conversation which will be followed up by a meeting at another stage.
The Sinn Fein approach to this visit was embarrassing and shows that SF is leaderless and in free fall. Whilst neither the Sinn Fein Council Mayor nor local MP met Julian Smith, other SF representatives joined a protest outside the Guildhall.
The republican elected representatives were not on site to speak up on important matters about developing the north-west but the DUP was.
Whilst SF boycott Stormont and Westminster, it was the DUP who was instrumental in delivering the City Deal for Londonderry.
Sinn Fein have shown that they are a party of protest. Indeed when Theresa May visited Belfast last summer, Sinn Fein engaged in a protest outside the Waterfront. A year later, not much has changed.
Leadership takes courage. Today would have been a good place to start, rather than shouting from the side-lines.”