SDLP leader Colum Eastwood to stand in Foyle in December General Election

The SDLP leader Colm Eastwood has announced he will lead the charge to reclaim the Foyle Westminster seat from Sinn Féin in December.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 11:00 am
Colum Eastwood.

Announcing his candidature in the Playhouse this morning Mr. Eastwood said that Brexit was a threat that posed an unacceptable risk to the interests of Ireland and Derry.

He said: “Brexit is a national emergency. It threatens people, businesses and communities across this island, but particularly in Derry where travelling across the border for work, to visit family or to socialise is a basic part of our lives.

“We have spent three years talking about the threats to jobs, livelihoods and border communities. That’s time we should have spent expanding our university to give young people the opportunity to study on this island.

“It’s time we should have spent upgrading our transport infrastructure to attract high quality new jobs. It’s time we should have spent addressing the legacy of conflict and the mental health crisis in homes and communities across this city.”

Mr. Eastwood took aim at Sinn Féin’s policy of abstention from Westminster, claiming change in Derry and Ireland’s favour could be realised by MPs in London.

“We know the scale of the challenge we’re facing. The time for talking is now over, now it’s time to take control of our own future, stand up for ourselves and vote Boris Johnson’s Brexit down.

“This is a time for leadership. I understand that when the stakes are this high, you have to be prepared to take on the uncomfortable and the unprecedented.

“At a time when communities like ours should be setting the agenda, we need our first team on the pitch. Instead, Derry is on the sidelines. That’s not acceptable.

“This is a defining election. It is a moment of choice and a moment for change. I am not content to continue with the direction of travel. I will not sit idly by as our interests are undermined. Brexit can be stopped at Westminster. SDLP MPs will vote to stop Brexit.”