DUP MLA, and junior minister, Robin Newton, appears to have rattled the cage of fellow Belfast City Councillor, Sinn Féin’s Tom Hartley, with his speculation “about Sinn Fein removing six of their current Councillors” on Belfast City Council.
“It seems that the current Sinn Fein group is seen as being too soft and is perceived as having become institutionalised and establishment friendly. It looks like the extreme socialist wing of Sinn Fein is unhappy with the performance of the current supposedly more pragmatic members.
All the talk is about six hard liners who have been battle tested taking over six seats and they will put forward a more fundamental and radical Sinn Fein policy.
“Six” would be over 40% of their current council grouping of 14.
According to Cllr Hartley’s response
Sinn Féin is replacing a number of Councillors at City Hall in line with our party’s policy of phasing out dual-mandates
Which, by my reckoning, is the situation for two of Sinn Féin’s current councillors in Belfast.
Cllr Hartley also states
Sinn Féin’s new and rejuvenated team will build on the important work of those councillors stepping aside to take up other activist roles within the party
So how many of the current 14 Sinn Féin councillors in Belfast are “stepping aside to take up other activist roles within the party”?