Devolution shouldn`t be allowed to wither on the vine – Swann

Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has stated that people are suffering due to a lack of political progress and called on the Secretary of State to act.

Speaking after leading an Ulster Unionist Party delegation into a meeting with the Secretary of State, Robin Swann MLA said:

“These discussions have been a long time coming but we`re glad that they are happening.

“Devolution has been left to wither on the vine for too long. Local politicians across the political spectrum have a huge responsibility to get the Assembly and Executive back in place.

“Just look at today`s latest waiting time statistics with less than 60% of patients attending our major emergency departments in March being treated and discharged, or admitted within the target period. The figures are absolutely horrendous. People are suffering due to a lack of political progress. It`s time to drop the red lines and get devolution restored.

“The Secretary of State needs to appreciate the seriousness of the crisis in our health service, our schools and other sectors. She needs to be prepared to explore new options.

“The Secretary of State cannot allow Northern Ireland to be held to ransom by Sinn Fein`s demands. If Sinn Fein want to exclude themselves, that`s up to them.

“The Secretary of State should be under no illusion that we also face a crisis in governance. What has gone before cannot be allowed to continue. It is totally unacceptable that the previous Sinn Fein/DUP Executive was allowed to run in the way it did, marked by dysfunctionality, ministers not reading legislation and minutes not being taken in meetings. It wouldn`t be acceptable in Westminster so it shouldn`t be acceptable here.

“There needs to be root and branch change to how government operates in Northern Ireland.”

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