Commenting on a decision by the British government last night to exclude the Sinn Féin Uachtarán and party leader Mary Lou McDonald from today’s meeting with the British Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary a Sinn Fein spokesperson said:
“The progress made on the Protocol this week is welcome and must now inject fresh momentum into talks between the EU and British government to reach a solution.
“Sinn Féin was hoping to build on that progress at today’s meeting with the British Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary.
“There is no time to waste, we are in the grip of a cost of living crisis, and our health workers and patients are crying out for political leadership and the restoration of the Executive.
“Sinn Féin’s priority is to work together with the other parties and the two governments to get the job done.
“However, in an extraordinary turn of events last night we were informed that the British government is excluding the Sinn Féin Uachtarán and party leader Mary Lou McDonald from today’s meeting.
“This is a time for inclusion, dialogue and engagement. This is a time for mature and civil politics. There is no room for bad faith and petulance from the British government.
“There is serious work to be done in the days and weeks ahead. This is an important week and we must pull out all the stops to get the Executive back up and running and working together for all our people.
“We look forward to engaging with the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the British Labour leader Keir Starmer tomorrow.”