June 6, 2021
O’Neill says appointment of Special Envoy by Brandon Lewis is ‘arrogant and disrespectful’

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán and Joint Head of Government Michelle O’Neill has said the announcement that the British Secretary of State has unilaterally appointed a Special Envoy to the US is ‘arrogant and disrespectful’.

Michelle O’Neill said: 

“Brandon Lewis’ decision to make such an appointment directly relating to the North’s interests and priorities without consulting the democratically mandated Executive smacks of Tory arrogance and disrespect.

“That is not an acceptable way of doing business. 

“The Executive has a permanent diplomatic mission based in Washington DC which comprises civil servants under the auspices of The Executive Office.

“It has proven to be effective and we do not need interference from the Tories in how we engage with the US administration, Congress, or the Irish-American community.

“I consider this announcement to be yet another attempt by this Tory Government to undermine devolution, locally elected Ministers and our institutions of government. 

“This is in addition to their announcement by a Whitehall department to establish an office in Belfast, which is frankly needless. 

“I intend raising these concerns with the British Secretary of State at the earliest opportunity. No power-grab or undermining of devolution will be entertained.”

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