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UUP to leave executive: Political reaction

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said that Mike Nesbitt had ‘abdicated his responsibilities’ to voters.

Politicians from across the Northern Ireland political spectrum have responded to the news that the UUP will leave the executive.

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly said that Mike Nesbitt had ‘abdicated his responsibilities’ to voters.

“Tonight he has abdicated his responsibilities to the people who voted for his party and disenfranchised large swathes of Unionism.

“The hypocrisy of the UUP can be seen in Mike Nesbitt standing shoulder to shoulder with Unionist paramilitary groups still engaged in violence, extortion and intimidation.

“Sinn Fein will not let Mike Nesbitt, nor anyone else for that matter, stop us from representing our electorate and we will continue to stand strong for all those people affected by the Tory cuts.

Jim Allister of the TUV welcomed the UUP’s decision and challenged the DUP to follow suit.

“Now that the UUP has done the right thing, it’s over to the DUP. Are they going to licence the IRA to kill again by turning a blind eye to murder and clinging to office with the Provos’ political wing?,”  said Allister.

“It’s no time for mere bluff and bluster, nor talk of ‘clever devices’, but it’s time to face the reality that a Stormont Executive built on the lies and excusing of IRA violence is a Stormont of not just failure, but shame.”

The DUP has criticised the UUP as being ‘riddled with hypocrisy and inconsistency.’

Sammy Wilson said that the ‘mask has slipped’ during UUP interviews which he claims were inconsistent with one another.

“With no other sensible rationale, the UUP has resorted to one attack after another on the DUP proving that this is nothing more than a selfish party political stunt,” said Wilson

“The UUP walking out of the Executive has no impact on the continuance of devolution and has even less impact on Sinn Fein.  Indeed, I would challenge Mike Nesbitt to explain how his party’s tactic puts any pressure on republicans”

“The UUP’s decision to leave government is cowardly rather than courageous and self-serving rather than selfless. It is premature and opportunistic. This is a time for sensible leadership not knee-jerk reactions.”

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