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Sinn Fein fury at Cameron’s pledge over abstention

By Liam Clarke

Sinn Fein has angrily dismissed a pledge by David Cameron to tackle its MPs for refusing to take their seats at Westminster while claiming Parliamentary allowances and office space.

Pat Doherty, the Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone, views the move as an “attempt to subvert the democratically expressed will of the electorate”.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question by Nigel Dodds, the DUP MP for North Belfast. Mr Dodds asked him to allow a vote on the “scandal” of the party not attending Parliament despite picking up “millions of pounds” in allowances.

Last year Mr Cameron claimed that Sinn Fein was being “let off the hook” for not attending Westminster and pledged to “re-examine” the allowance rules.

Yesterday he side-stepped Mr Dodds’ direct request for a vote, but said: “I have not changed my view about that one bit and I do think it’s an issue that needs addressing.”

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