Labour activist goes on hunger strike in Co Armagh

Labour activist Matt Beeching has gone on hunger strike in Co Armagh
Marie Louise McConville

A LABOUR activist has gone on hunger strike in Co Armagh in a bid to put pressure on the party to allow candidates to stand for election in Northern Ireland.

As of midnight on Monday, Matt Beeching, who lives in Portadown, said he would "refuse to eat any food solids, of any kind", until such time as his "demands have been met in full".

A Secretary of Upper Bann Branch at The Labour Party in Northern Ireland, Mr Beeching said he was also taking the drastic action to "force DUP/SF to form the NI executive and kick start NI Assembly".

In a personal statement, Mr Beeching said: "As you will know Labour Party in Northern Ireland has been seeking to be given the human right for Labour Party members in Northern Ireland to stand candidates for election in Northern Ireland for some time now," he said.

"Yet their responses and have always been that we should support, vote for or even join the SDLP due to a long-standing sister party agreement between Labour and SDLP here in Northern Ireland. However, this goes against Labour Party UK and my own principles.

"I feel this is unfair and wholly undemocratic. This is something I feel very strongly about".

He also said he felt it was "unfair and undemocratic" that "the two main parties that are responsible for forming the Northern Ireland Executive are not fulfilling their duties of office".

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