Sinn Féin Assemblyman Martin McGuinness has hit out at a decision by the Northern Ireland Office, not to allow the party’s elected representatives to visit prisons and prisoners in Northern Ireland.
He accused the Northern Ireland Office of taking a deliberate political decision to lessen the effect of Sinn Féin’s recent electoral growth, and said the ban meant that he would not have access to many of his constituents and would be unable to help them with their problems.
A Northern Ireland Office spokesperson confirmed that Sinn Féin elected representatives would not be given access to the prisons in Northern Ireland.
He said the party still supported violence and it was not thought appropriate that they be allowed admission to the prisons.
He added that the decision to ban Sinn Féin elected representatives from the prisons had been taken at the time of the Assembly elections.