SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said that the British Prime Minister’s announcement of a snap Westminster election reflects the “disdain she holds for Northern Ireland” and attempts to restore a power sharing government here.
Mr Eastwood said that the election on Brexit offers an opportunity for the public to stand behind parties which have steadfastly fought to defend the North.
He said: “It tells you all you need to know about Theresa May that she would call a snap Westminster election in the middle of intense efforts to restore power sharing government to Northern Ireland.
“From the beginning of her tenure as British Prime Minister she has shown very little but disinterest and disdain for this place.”
The Derry politician said that as Theresa May seeks a mandate for a hard Brexit from an English electorate, people here have an opportunity to unite behind parties which have defended their will and sought to protect their values.
He said: “England may want to isolate itself from Europe and the world. But people in Northern Ireland and Scotland made a different choice.
“A choice that cannot be fulfilled through a hard Brexit. We now have an opportunity to strengthen the mandate of parties which campaigned against and consistently voted against Brexit at Westminster.
“I know people are suffering from electoral fatigue. But this is not a time to sit on the sidelines. This is a moment to unite to deliver a strong message to Theresa May and the Brexiteers. Our voice will be heard.”