Belfast Telegraph

DUP warned over Sammy Wilson's direct rule comments

By Noel McAdam

A DUP MP who called for a return to direct rule has been warned: "Be careful what you wish for."

Sammy Wilson said the government should recognise Sinn Fein has too many unrealistic demands for the talks to restore devolution to succeed.

But Labour MP Stella Creasy responded: "Mr Wilson needs to be careful what he wishes for."

The MP for Walthamstow tweeted that whether it is Westminster or Stormont, "the drumbeat for equal human rights will grow stronger".

Mr Wilson accused Secretary of State James Brokenshire of abdicating his responsibilities by not releasing part of the £1bn for Northern Ireland that the DUP got in a deal to maintain Theresa May's Tory government in power, some of which has been earmarked for the health service.

"He says he wants to see the Northern Ireland Assembly spend that money, but he must know by now that there is not going to be an Assembly," Mr Wilson told the News Letter.

"The demands and red lines of Sinn Fein are so unrealistic that there is not going to be an agreement. Brokenshire is not naive but I wonder why he continues to be optimistic that a deal can be done. He needs to get real and understand Sinn Fein's game. While direct rule is not my preference, I believe the people of Northern Ireland will be better served by it at this time."

Mr Wilson belongs to the DUP/Tory committee which would decide how the £1bn is spent in the absence of a Stormont Executive.

It has been made repeatedly clear that the £1bn is not dependent on devolution's return.

SF's Alex Maskey retorted: "We believe a resolution to the current political breakdown is possible if the will is there from all parties, but the DUP leadership needs to clarify whether they are serious about an agreement or not, given this latest rant from Sammy Wilson."

Belfast Telegraph

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