Wednesday 26 June 2019

SDLP hit by resignations after deal with FF ratified

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood (centre) speaks to the media as his party has voted by more than two to one to back a new partnership with Fianna Fáil. Photo: Michael McHugh/PA Wire
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood (centre) speaks to the media as his party has voted by more than two to one to back a new partnership with Fianna Fáil. Photo: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Brett Campbell

The SDLP has been hit by a series of resignations after ratifying its partnership with Fianna Fáil.

THE SDLP has been hit by a series of resignations after ratifying its partnership with Fianna Fáil.

The chairpersons of the party's Youth, Women and LGBT+ branches resigned following Saturday's vote to form links with Fianna Fáil.

In a statement, Matthew Corr, Caoímhe McNeill and Matthew Carson claimed they took the "only course of action" available to them after "procedural abuses" at the special conference in Newry where almost 70pc of members backed the move.

They have written a letter to the party's chairman, Colin McGrath, to express concern over the way the meeting was convened, the process to submit motions or amendments, and the lack of notice given to members.

Despite the scathing attack, Mr Corr said all three members would continue to "campaign hard" for party candidates in the upcoming council elections in May.

It comes after former Belfast City councillor Niall Kelly resigned his membership of the SDLP after 14 years due to fears of an "inevitable" merger between the two parties.

He branded the new relationship, proposed by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, as a "narrow deal" which would result in "a backwards step".

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section