4 September 2008 Edition

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Robinson should end politicking

Joint First Minister Peter Robinson

Joint First Minister Peter Robinson

IT’S TIME for joint First Minister Peter Robinson to get down to real issues instead of engaging in “petty politics” about presentational changes by Development Minister Conor Murphy, Sinn Féin Assembly member John O’Dowd has said.
O’Dowd was speaking after the DUP leader sent a letter to Conor Murphy complaining about the publication of an Executive paper on planning which referred to the Six Counties as “the North” or “the North of Ireland” and spoke of “Derry”.
John O’Dowd said:
“Aside from the fact that Peter Robinson has no authority to write any letter on any subject on behalf of OFMDFM without the agreement of Sinn Féin, people will be amazed that, at a time when there are real outstanding issues to resolve, Mr Robinson has the time to play petty politics.”

The Sinn Féin Assembly member pointed out that the strategy document produced by the Department of Regional Development is an accurate reflection of what was agreed at Executive level. He added that the background to this letter is a query made by rejectionist unionist MEP Jim Allister.
“The pattern seems to be that Jim Allister raises an issue and it becomes a DUP priority. It is weak politics and is no way to do business.”
He continued:
“It would suit Mr Robinson better if he used his time engaging in the process of the intensive dialogue he committed his party to in June to sort out serious issues instead of wasting time playing petty internal unionist politics.”

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