Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill pledges to strengthen ‘ties of friendship’ with Scotland

SINN Fein’s Michelle O’Neill is determined to strengthen “ties of friendship” with Scotland and the Scottish Government while working against a “self-interested Tory government”, an Irish Republican Party spokesman has said.

Following last week’s election in Stormont, in which Sinn Fein secured a majority for the first time, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon praised O’Neill (pictured) and Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald via Twitter for “a truly historic result”.

Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney later told Sky News that Sinn Fein’s new status as Stormont’s largest party meant ‘we would have a political leadership in Northern Ireland who would be prepared to challenge the Kingdom government. United on many aspects of its political approach”.

Swinney added that he believed the Scottish government had an opportunity to work with Sinn Fein to “put pressure” on the UK government, particularly the cost of living crisis.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson ‘in cahoots’ with DUP over Stormont blocking tactics, says Sinn Fein

Speaking to the Sunday National, a spokesman for Sinn Fein’s Vice President said: ‘Michelle O’Neill and her team have a strong relationship and have a proven track record of working closely with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and his ministers on issues that matter to the people we both represent, including the rising cost of living which the UK government must act on for workers and families.

“As incoming First Minister, Michelle O’Neill is determined to strengthen our bonds of friendship with Scotland and with the Scottish Government as we work hard to defend our common interests against a self-serving Conservative Government and a Prime Minister in Downing Street.”

Sturgeon previously commented on Sinn Fein’s win, saying: ‘There are no doubt big fundamental questions being asked in the UK as a political entity at the moment. They’re being asked here in Scotland, they’re being asked in Northern Ireland, they’re being asked in Wales and I think we’re going to see fundamental changes in British governance in the years to come, and I’m sure one of these changes will be the independence of Scotland.

In the Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald called on the Taoiseach to convene a citizens’ assembly on a possible border vote on Irish unification, and argued that preparing for such a vote ” would be possible within five years”. Time range.”

“But more importantly, I think the preparation has to start now,” McDonald added.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to visit Northern Ireland after DUP blocks Assembly Speaker

Despite Sinn Fein’s electoral success, Michelle O’Neill’s road to the premiership has been complicated by the Democratic Unionist Party, which this week refused to nominate ministers to form a new executive until their objections to the Northern Ireland Protocol have been resolved.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson argued that his party must ‘send a very clear message’ to the European Union and the UK government that the protocol issue must be resolved, saying: ‘Because of the evil that If it does, undermining political stability, damaging the agreements that have formed the basis of political progress in Northern Ireland, to our economy, contributing to the cost of living crisis, this issue needs to be addressed.

In response, O’Neill said any effort to block a new president is unacceptable, commenting: “What we need to see is the office filled – prime minister, deputy prime minister, all ministerial posts filled, and let’s start doing business.

“It’s not good enough for the people here that the DUP is holding society to ransom, punishing society, preventing the establishment of a speaker and an executive to actually address people’s concerns.”

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