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MLAs Anderson and Mullan ‘asked to consider their positions’

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Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA

PA

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA

Two Sinn Fein MLAs in Londonderry have reportedly been asked by the party to consider their position, according to reports.

It follows concerns from the party leadership around recent election results and governance issues, with an Assembly election due next year.

According to the Irish Examiner newspaper, Sinn Fein MLAs Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan were told last week that, as part of a long investigation into the Derry branch of Sinn Fein, they should both consider their positions.

It is believed both of the women were given until June to decide if they will resign.

The internal review is believed to have focused heavily on the most recent elections, after the party suffered at the polls.

In the most recent local elections for Derry and Strabane council, the party lost five seats and its position as the largest party.

In the 2019 UK general election, then MP Elisha McCallion lost the Foyle seat to the SDLP's Colum Eastwood by more than 17,000 votes.

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Both Ms Anderson and Ms Mullan were co-opted into their Assembly seats.

Ms Anderson replaced Raymond McCartney and became the ninth Sinn Fein co-option in the current mandate, which began in March 2017.

Ms Mullan had been selected to replace Ms Anderson's niece Elisha McCallion as a Foyle MLA after Mrs McCallion was elected as an MP in 2017.

The party has suffered a number of high-profile losses in recent years with the death of Martin McGuinness and retirement of Mr McCartney.

According to the Examiner, Gerry Kelly, among others, broke the news to the Derry group last week after a long investigation into its governance which began before Christmas.

It is reported the entire leadership of the Derry group was asked to stand aside, including chairman and nephew of Ms Anderson Micky Anderson.

Ms Mullan’s partner was also reportedly asked to stand aside from his role in the party.

Sinn Fein has been contacted for comment.

A Sinn Fein spokesperson previously said the party had established a "review group" in Foyle ahead of the Assembly election.

"Derry Sinn Fein has accepted a recommendation from that review to set up an electoral strategy group to oversee preparation for those elections," the spokesperson said.


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