Political news

Suspended SDLP councillor putting up election posters for Alasdair McDonnell

An image sent to The Irish News appears to show suspended SDLP councillor Declan Boyle with others putting up election posters
Brendan Hughes

A COUNCILLOR suspended by the SDLP for not supporting a motion condemning harassment of women by anti-abortion activists has been helping with the party's Westminster election effort.

Declan Boyle and two other city councillors were suspended in April for abstaining on a council motion that people "should not face fear and intimidation when accessing healthcare services".

At the time he said he did not support harrassment of anybody but had "no regrets" about "voting pro-life".

An image sent to The Irish News appears to show Mr Boyle with others putting up election posters for South Belfast candidate Alasdair McDonnell near Forestside shopping centre.

Mr Boyle yesterday did not respond to requests for a comment, while Mr McDonnell could also not be contacted.

An SDLP spokesman said: "Councillors who have had the SDLP whip withdrawn are no longer party representatives on their council for the duration of the suspension.

"However, they remain party members and as such are entitled to attend and take part in branch activity."

Mr Boyle, along with Pat Convery and Kate Mullan, were the only councillors present at April’s council meeting who did not vote in favour of the motion.

The suspensions reduced the SDLP's number of Belfast councillors to four.

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Political news