[Sinn Fein]

29th August 2002

Same old refrain from Ulster Unionism

Mitchel Mc Laughlin MLA commenting on reports of another impending Ulster Unionist Council meeting to demand Sinn Fein's exclusion from the Assembly Executive said:

`` We have been over this ground many times before and nothing has changed except that no name has been attached to this latest move. It's the same old refrain only this time from faceless members of the Unionist Council.

No matter who is behind this latest drive to frustrate the functioning of the political institutions - as with those before them - they have yet to come up with any alternative to the Good Friday Agreement.

I believe that if David Trimble is sincere in his support of the Agreement then it is incumbent on him that he is seen to be championing it within pro-Agreement Unionism. Sinn Fein and the SDLP have consistently sold the Agreement to our respective constituencies and David Trimble needs to do likewise in his constituency.

As to whether David Trimble's leadership is under threat - that is a matter for the Ulster Unionist Party - Sinn Fein has no influence over who leads the Ulster Unionists but we are committed to this process and will work with whoever is the Ulster Unionist Leader be that David Trimble are someone else.''

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