Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry has been heavily criticised after commenting on a BBC radio programme this morning that further development of the University of Ulster at Magee is “off the table.”
Minister Farry said the long awaited development would now be “delayed indefinitely” because of cuts to the Stormont budget.
Speaking following the comments Sinn Fein MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said an emergency meeting must now be called over the issue.
The Foyle MLA said: “The expansion of Magee college is crucial for the regeneration of Derry. All voices in the city are united in calling for the expansion of the university. It is a key component of the One Plan and, as such, a Programme for Government commitment agreed by the Executive.
“Stephen Farry is practising microphone diplomacy, announcing unilateral decisions on the airwaves and is playing politics with vital issues. It is totally wrong to use the proposed Tory-led welfare cuts as an excuse to block the expansion of Magee.
“The cap on student numbers at Magee must be lifted and the minister must withdraw these comments and work with the University of Ulster and all stakeholders in Derry to deliver the expansion of Magee. I will be convening an emergency meeting of the Education and Skills Implementation group of all the stakeholders to ensure the expansion of Magee goes ahead,” she added.