More indicators of discontent among the Sinn Féin rank and file. Along with the resignation of MLA Gerry McHugh, and the suspension of Cllr Bernice Swift, the BBC reports that in Strabane District Council, where they have 8 councillors, Sinn Féin were unable to find 5 councillors willing to join the District Policing Partnership.. only 3 of their councillors took up their positions and the remaining two places went [under the d’Hondt system] to the DUP. Perhaps it was “a mistake to organise a meeting without talking to people in the local community..” Adds An Ulster Herald report dated 29th November, when SF were saying they would fill all five seats, has more on that internal party wrangling. More Strabane SF Councillor Brian McMahon on Talkback blamed the failure to take the seats on “poor policing”… Update Some reaction here
[Independent MEP Jim] Allister said: “It doesn’t square with full support for police and the rule of law. Actions do speak louder than words so these actions point to a deficit in terms of their supposed commitment to the rule of law. If there is a problem you would have thought the leadership would sort it out and obviously they have not been able to.”
From the BBC report
The party was entitled to five places, but could only find three candidates willing to take part.
The two spare posts were offered to DUP councillors hours before the deadline for nominations expired on Tuesday.
The inability to fill the positions followed weeks of internal wrangling within Sinn Fein.