Belfast Telegraph

'Don't be so arrogant' to say First Minister Arlene Foster 'sacked' by McGuinness, blasts DUP MLA Stalford

Sinn Fein in climbdown over Foster as first minister red line

DUP MLA Christopher Stalford blasted as "arrogant" a Sinn Fein assertion Martin McGuinness "sacked" Arlene Foster as First Minister.

He was responding to MLA John O'Dowd.

The Upper Bann MLA told the BBC's The View programme his party would be content for Arlene Foster to become First Minister again should there be a deal to restore power sharing.

Sinn Fein has previously stated it would not return to an Executive with Mrs Foster in the post during the RHI inquiry.

"Two years after Arlene Foster was effectively sacked as First Minister by Martin McGuinness," Mr O'Dowd said, "who the DUP chose as their leader if and when we get to a position where we have an Executive in a rights-based society then if Arlene Foster is nominated as the joint first minister by the DUP it is not up to Sinn Fein to object at that stage."

He was asked to confirm if a deal was done and the DUP nominated Arlene Foster as first minister, Sinn Fein would be happy to accept that.

"Two years on from the situation, yes we are," he added.

Chrisopher Stalford responded: "'Effectively sacked'... Don't be so arrogant."

He said there was "no vacancy" and Mrs Foster would "continue to lead the unionist community".

"The fact that there are people in other parties who don't like Arlene just proves that she is doing her job right."

The South Belfast MLA, said Sinn Fein should look for the support of the Assembly, adding that rights were not the same thing as its "wish list".

"If you've got the numbers, why don't you rock up to Stormont and vote them through?" he asked.

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