SoS slammed for cancelling planned meeting

August 29, 2016

Secretary of State, James Brokenshire’s decision to cancel a planned meeting in Newry last week, amid a protest by representatives of community groups, has been heavily criticized by Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy.

Mr Murphy says Mr Brokenshire’s “planned tour of the north” has been exposed as nothing more than “a PR exercise” and accused him of “running away” from concerned border communities.

Claiming that the Secretary of State called off the meeting when he was informed that local community groups were holding a protest, Mr Murphy said: “Mr Brokenshire announced this grand tour of the north with much fanfare claiming he wanted to ‘listen and learn about the diverse issues faced by people’, yet the first opportunity he had to meet with concerned communities from the border he ran away.

“This tour has now been well and truly exposed as the PR exercise it is.  What he wants is a series of photo shoots with handpicked groups; he does not want to speak to the ordinary people who are going to have to live with the consequences of a catastrophic EU exit.

“People want to know what is going to happen to the border, what is going to happen to EU funding, to agriculture, to cross border trade.  He won’t engage with the people because neither he nor his government have any answers to these questions.  Once again the north has been burdened with a needless Secretary of State who neither understands them nor has any desire to do so.”