Northern Ireland news

Criticism over invites for Boris Johnson and Liz Truss to Good Friday Agreement celebration

Boris Johnson arrives for a gala dinner at Hillsborough Castle. Picture by Charles McQuillan/PA Wire
John Manley Political Correspondent

The British government is facing criticism over its decision to invite Boris Johnson and Liz Truss to the gala dinner marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The pair were among a number of former prime ministers, including Theresa May, who were invited by Downing Street to Wednesday night's event at Hillsborough Castle.

Other guests at the dinner included Good Friday Agreement talks chair Senator George Mitchell, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and his one-time DUP counterpart Peter Robinson.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addressed the gathering, which came at the end of a series of events marking the anniversary of the 1998 Agreement.

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SDLP MLA Matthew O'Toole said events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement had "rightly focussed on maximum inclusion of all the traditions that share these islands". 

"I do question, however, how appropriate it is for people like Boris Johnson and Liz Truss to turn up to a Hillsborough Castle dinner celebrating the courage and selflessness of the Agreement’s negotiators while they cynically press for a hard Brexit that undermines everything we’ve achieved together," he said. 

"Cynicism at that scale stands in sharp contrast with the principles of those who delivered peace."

Downing Street declined to comment.