Belfast Telegraph

Soft and slow...change of tone for Michelle O'Neill in Sinn Fein election broadcast?

By Jonny Bell

Sinn Fein debuted its party election broadcast but has Michelle O'Neill changed her tone?

While the message may be along the same lines as from the Assembly election, the Sinn Fein leader delivers it in a softer, slower and different tone to what we've come to expect from the press conferences at Stormont.

Read More: Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill should just be herself and stay clear of spin doctors

Sitting in a coffee shop, Michelle O'Neill delivers her party's pitch and it looks like the party's spin doctors have had a rethink on her tone.

While other members of the party appear, the focus is solely on the new Stormont leader. In the Assembly election broadcast party president Gerry Adams, deputy Mary Lou McDonald and former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness all featured.

In the pitch for Westminster, Mrs O'Neill talks much slower and in a lower tone. It's a slight change in style to that made in February for Assembly votes.

She has, in the past, been criticised for speaking "like an express train" without taking a breath. Twitter users have implored her to "speak slower" with some comparing her to the famous "Strabane man" who was interviewed on television speaking at such a rate of knots he could barely be understood.

In the election broadcast she pledges that her party will resume the Stormont talks on restoring an Executive after the election and "finish the job".

Mrs O'Neill says a "new Executive" will "deliver for everyone" and it was needed to "stand up" to the Conservative party agenda.

The MLA promises that her party will continue to fight for special status for Northern Ireland to remain within the EU as Brexit looms.

"What Sinn Fein wins in this election is a win for everyone who wants to see new progressive politics," she says.

The piece ends with a tribute to the late Martin McGuinness.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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