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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has described an attack on the Covid restrictions by Edwin Poots as a ‘cynical abdication of duty’ by the Executive Minister.

The Foyle MP has called on DUP Leader Arlene Foster to intervene immediately, uphold the medical and scientific advice and rein in her party colleague.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“At a time when we need a strong, united and cohesive message coming from Ministers, Edwin Poots’ assault on the latest Covid restrictions is absolutely pathetic. These restrictions are uncomfortable for all of us but to turn on Executive colleagues in public is incredible in the current circumstances.

“The abdication of collective responsibility, breaching the confidentiality of an Executive meeting, and attempting to trash the restrictions that were agreed to keep people safe are appalling errors of judgment. The DUP Leader Arlene Foster needs to rein him in immediately before he does any further damage to the public health messaging.

“The DUP should also retract if true reported remarks that the virus is more prevalent in ‘nationalist districts’. This virus is a threat to all of us. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a party in the holylands, people not keeping their distance in a shop or an MP refusing to wear a mask. We all need to tighten up. The politics of division is distracting from a critical public health message.

“If we don’t come together, the public health message will fall apart. This will be a difficult time for businesses and the public. But rather than attacking each other, all parties should be focused on delivering additional support to those most affected to mitigate the impact of the restrictions.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom