Sammy Wilson: People of Northern Ireland are 'victims' of Boris Johnson's broken promises
DUP chief whip Sammy Wilson described the people of Northern Ireland as “victims” of the British Prime Minister’s “inconsistencies and promises made and promises broken” over the Northern Ireland Protocol, but hopes MPs can now “get focussed on things that the Government should be doing” in the wake of the confidence vote.
Conservative MPs last night voted 211 to 148 in support of Mr Johnson following a bruising few months involving the partygate scandal, standards in political life and cost-of-living concerns.
Mr Wilson said of the protocol that “we are on the cusp on getting some of those issues addressed and I want to see that happening” but that the DUP “will only have faith when we actually see the legislation through the House of Commons. We’ve had these promises before.
“We’ve been victims of his inconsistencies and of promises made and promises broken, but he is the Prime Minister, he is the one the Conservative Party has chosen to lead the Government, and all we want to do is make sure that, one, he does his job and two, no impediments are put in his way of doing that job.”
Mr Wilson told PA news agency: “I was a bit surprised at the size of the vote against the Prime Minister but I just hope now that the vote has been taken, people have had the chance to have their say and we can now get focused on things that the Government should be doing.”
He added: “It’s an internal issue within the Conservative Party so it’s none of my business, you could argue, but it is some of my business when it distracts from the kind of things that my constituents send me here to do, to encourage the Government to act on, and if the internal disputes within the Conservative Party are stopping that happening then of course it’s right to say something about it.”
Sinn Féin Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill said “infighting” in the Conservative Party is having an impact on the lives of people in Northern Ireland.
“The Tories themselves are bad for workers and families, the Tories themselves brought us austerity, they brought us Brexit, they brought us all of this mess over the course of recent weeks and they’ve brought us now, their efforts that are deliberately attempting to over ride parts of the protocol that they themselves agreed, so breaching international law. I believe that’s going to continue over the course of this week,” she said.
“Their infighting is actually having an impact on people’s lives here and that’s not acceptable.
“The Tories’ approach to pandering to the DUP is also not acceptable. What the public here want is us who have been given a mandate, who have support from local people to govern for them. They want us to work together and what’s happening in Britain is for the people there.”