Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 March 2015

MP in Sinn Fein conference first

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker is to attend Sinn Fein's ard fheis
Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker is to attend Sinn Fein's ard fheis

Labour's shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will become the first senior British politician to attend a Sinn Fein party conference this weekend.

Vernon Coaker, who has attended DUP, Alliance and SDLP conferences and hosted the UUP at Labour’s conference, said it was a vital part of his job to engage with all parties in Northern Ireland.

“I have a good relationship with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and have worked with him and Sinn Fein to continue to build peace and progress in Northern Ireland,” said Mr Coaker, who will address the ard fheis.

“In this week that marks the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, it's an example of how far we have come in Northern Ireland when I, as Shadow Secretary of State, am attending the Sinn Fein ard fheis.”

The Labour MP is expected to have a private breakfast meeting with Declan Kearney, the Sinn Fein chairperson, and other senior Sinn Fein figures on this morning.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz