Belfast Telegraph

Ulster leaders criticise Cameron

Stormont leaders have hit out at David Cameron after accusing the Prime Minister of failing to meet them for eight months.

Both First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness criticised No 10's attitude toward the devolved administration as they welcomed Labour leader Ed Miliband to Parliament Buildings in Belfast.

Also accusing the coalition Government of backtracking on financial commitments made during the peace process, Mr McGuinness said Mr Cameron's approach stood in stark contrast to that of the previous Labour government.

"We took the opportunity at the meeting we just had (with Mr Miliband) to explain the particularly difficult economic circumstances that we are faced with at this time and raised the issue of the reneging on the financial agreement made (in 2006) at St Andrews with the Labour administration by the Cameron-led Government," he said.

"We also put on record our total dissatisfaction that in the past eight months neither the First Minister or I have met with the Prime Minister.

"This is a totally unacceptable situation and it's something that certainly never happened under the stewardship of either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown."

Mr Robinson appeared to take a swipe at the current Government as he welcomed Mr Miliband's offer of an open-door policy between Stormont and the Opposition.

"We very much welcome the offer you have made of an open-door approach," he said.

"Would that it was the approach we had in other places as well."

The Stormont leaders claim cuts to infrastructure spending in the region's block grant allocation from the Treasury broke funding commitments struck by the UK and Irish governments at St Andrews five years ago aimed at regenerating the region.


From Belfast Telegraph