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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA has called on parties to moderate their language as political debate becomes more and more divisive.

The North Belfast MLA said that political leaders have a duty to bring people together, not force them further apart.

She said:

“The language used by politicians and parties over the last week has sought to divide people and keep communities apart. At a time when we should be coming together to find solutions to the big challenges we face and to act in our substantial common interests, we cannot afford to fall into comfortable rhetoric that sends people back to their trenches. 

“This week we’ve seen Boris Johnson talk about the ‘betrayal’ and ‘surrender’ of people trying to avoid a no-deal Brexit. We’ve had Sammy Wilson describe people genuinely trying to avoid a hard border as ‘fifth columnists’. We’ve seen DUP recruitment posters say ‘Ulster is ours’ and a senior Sinn Féin MLA defend a ‘Brits out’ poster at Queen’s. They are all two ends of the same coin – parties and politicians with a selfish interest in dividing people and keeping us apart.

“The extreme language used by political leaders in the current climate is incredibly dangerous and it fuels hatred. We need to moderate the tone of debate or those who use this vile rhetoric need to be prepared to accept responsibility for the polarised society they’re contributing to. I got into politics to end division, to bring our communities together and to act in our common interest. That’s the path we need to follow now.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom