Monday, June 06, 2005

DUP ‘did a deal’ with SDLP

Ciarán Barnes:

A former SDLP mayor of Belfast has claimed his party struck a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to ensure every other party on Belfast City Council is excluded from holding the position of lord mayor until 2007.

Martin Morgan’s comments came just days after the DUP’s Wallace Browne was elected to serve as Belfast’s new lord mayor.

Mr Browne needed the support of the SDLP’s eight City Hall councillors to secure the top civic post.

This was the first time in the SDLP’s history that it had supported a DUP candidate for mayor. In return, the DUP backed the SDLP’s Pat Convery for deputy mayor.

Mr Morgan predicted that the DUP will support a bid by SDLP councillors Carmel Hanna or Pat McCarthy to become lord mayor of Belfast during the 2006-07 council term.

He said: “Last week saw politics in City Hall take yet another strange political turn.

“The SDLP supported the DUP’s Wallace Browne in becoming lord mayor of Belfast and, in turn, the ever tolerant, inclusive and forward-thinking and looking DUP supped with the SDLP and made Pat Convery Deputy Dawg.

“I will make this prediction. Either my old friend Pat McCarthy or Carmel Hanna MLA, councillor and former minister, will become the future SDLP lord mayor.”

Mr Morgan added: “It will be interesting if the deal between the DUP and the SDLP for the two largest gold chains in Belfast will see them further co-operate on matters that really count.”

Speaking to Daily Ireland yesterday, Mrs Hanna said there had been “no agreement” with the DUP but admitted she was happy that the city’s two top civic positions were now held by a unionist and nationalist.

The SDLP’s denial of a deal failed to convince Sinn Féin.

West Belfast councillor Tom Hartley said: “Martin Morgan’s comments confirm our suspicions that the SDLP did a deal with the DUP to secure the top positions on a number of councils in the greater Belfast area.

“When you look at how council positions have been spread around the SDLP and DUP in Lisburn and Castlereagh, it suggests the agreement was not only confined to Belfast.”

Once again, the SDLP proves themselves to be pro-British traitors. I wonder how the Nationalists who foolishly voted for them in the elections feel today?

Plain mayhem and mischief

Belfast City Council round-up – Four years of checkmate?


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