Political news

People Before Profit pair 'of one political mind' says Eamonn McCann

Newly elected People Before Profit MLAs Eamonn McCann and Gerry Carroll arrive at Stormont. Picture Mal by McCann

Among the 29 new faces to be inducted at Stormont yesterday were People for Profit's two freshly-elected MLAs.

It is the first time the group of socialists has been represented on the assembly's blue benches.

The two MLAs will operate at Stormont autonomously from the party in the Republic but say they will stick closely to an all-Ireland anti-austerity agenda.

Foyle MLA Eamonn McCann and his West Belfast counterpart Gerry Carroll anticipate that they will discuss issues between them before voting together in the assembly.

People Before Profit (PBP) is an alliance of Irish left-wing groups which came together in 2005 and operates on both sides of the border.

It has 14 council seats in the south and three TDs.

Mr McCann and Mr Carroll are both members of the Socialist Workers Party, one of PBP's largest components.

Speaking to The Irish News yesterday, Mr McCann described PBP as a "broad church", made up of many people who had not been involved in politics before.

Asked if the two-man group would operate a 'whip', the veteran Derry writer and campaigner said he did not envisage an occasion when he and Mr Carroll would vote differently.

"While my experience of Stormont is so far limited to a half-day induction, I anticipate we will discuss the issue in hand and easily reach agreement before voting together."

Mr McCann said he and his fellow MLA were "of one mind politically".

He said PBP's priority was to fight the "austerity agenda" while also promoting women's rights and protecting the environment.

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