SDLP name Westminster candidate

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The SDLP has selected Denise Johnston, local reconciliation campaigner, as its candidate in the forthcoming Westminster election in Mid Ulster.

Speaking after she was chosen as the party’s candidate, Denise Johnston said that local people deserve more than an empty seat while Brexit threatens jobs, businesses and communities at the border.

She said: “Brexit is a national emergency. It threatens people, jobs and businesses across this island, but particularly in communities like ours where travelling across the border for work or to visit family is an everyday fact of life.

“At a time of immense crisis, it’s just not good enough that our MP has decided to abstain on this island’s future. Boris Johnson, Sammy Wilson and others are delighted that it’s one less vote against their plans to privatise our health service and sell large chunks off to American profiteers. They are delighted that there’s no one representing people here who oppose welfare cuts and austerity that have left the most vulnerable destitute.

“This is a moment for leadership. My promise to people in Mid Ulster is that I will never abstain on our future. I will never abstain on the need for investment in people and communities here. I will never abstain on protecting the Good Friday Agreement or the people I represent. With no Executive and no Assembly for 1000 days, our future is being decided in London and we’re having no say in it. No more.

“This is a defining election. It is a moment of choice and a moment for change. I am not content to continue with the direction of travel. I will not sit idly by as our interests are undermined. It’s one thing being against Brexit but you have to vote against it if you want to protect people here.”