Margaret’s watch not chiming with backbenchers?

Prominent SDLP Assembly member and fellow constituency representative, PJ Bradley, has spoken about his shock following his party leader’s dismissive remarks regarding the potential link up between the SDLP and Fianna Fail in today’s Irish News. Bradley, along with many other SDLP members, has long been supportive of the merger proposal, and he clearly was not expecting what he described as the “bolt out of the blue” remarks delivered by Margaret Ritchie at the Labour Party conference last week. Ritchie went on to use her speech to criticise the Fianna Fail-led government’s reaction to the banking crisis, something that will surely make it interesting if and when the SDLP ask prominent Fianna Fail politicians to venture northwards to canvass on their behalf in the coming days and weeks.