Spad Bill creates division and inequality: Sinn Fein

June 10, 2013

A Sinn Fein MLA has accused the SDLP of facilitating discrimination after the party allowed the controversial Spad Bill to be passed by the Assembly by abstaining from voting on the legislation.

The Bill prevents ex-prisoners convicted of serious offences from holding the position of Special Advisors in Stormont.

Newry Armagh MLA Megan Fearon criticised the SDLP for their decision to abstain in the Assembly Bill.

“The resulting legislation is anti-Peace Process, anti-Shared Future and anti-Good Friday Agreement.  It discriminates against former political prisoners who have played a huge role in today’s peace and it is totally wrong,” Ms Fearon said.

“Under this legislation people such as our MP Conor Murphy, who is currently in Cuba advising on the Colombian Peace Process, would not be able to hold a Special Advisor position.  Nelson Mandela would not be able to hold a Special Advisor position.  If Bobby Sands and Raymond McCreesh were alive today they would also be banned from becoming Special Advisors.

“This legislation pits one victim against another and creates further division and inequality.”

Accusing the SDLP of refusing to meet with representatives of victims of state violence on Monday, Ms Fearon vowed her party will continue to fight against discrimination and will continue to oppose this Bill.