Sinn Féin responds to DUP criticism
Sinn Féin have accused DUP Leader Arlene Foster of displaying "breath-taking arrogance" after she accused the party of a "shattering trust" within the unionist community.
John O'Dowd was responding to comments made by the former First Minister this week following talks between the five main parties and Secretary of State Karen Bradley.
Accusing Sinn Féin of leaking confidential information in the aftermath of the failed February deal, when the DUP walked away from political negotiations, Mrs Foster said; "They have behaved in a incredibly bad way, therefore the building of trust is going to take a long time"
Speaking yesterday Mr O'Dowd accused the DUP leader of "arrogance".
"I don't think there are many people who believe the DUP version of events regarding the collapse of the talks so what we are seeing now is clear distraction politics from Arlene Foster.
"This is compounded by the DUP's toxic pact with the Tory Party. In part, this is poisoning the process and preventing a return to the power-sharing institutions.
"The British Government are prioritising that self-serving arrangement over the rights of citizens and the interests of the hard-won peace and political processes.
"That is entirely unacceptable. The British government has a responsibility under the Good Friday Agreement to deal with the rights issues at the heart of the political impasse", Mr O'Dowd said.
"They need to convene the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference and pave the way for a return to the power sharing institutions", he added.