Northern Ireland 'certain' of Sinn Fein Minister says Morris
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The group are hosting a fringe event in Brighton on the future of Northern Ireland. Titled “A Decade of Opportunity – Towards A New Ireland”, the event will discuss the unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic.
Labour’s official policy supports Northern Ireland’s place as part of the UK.
However, the hosting of the Sinn Fein event will draw concerns about its commitment to the Union.
Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Louise Haigh, is billed to be speaking at the event.
In a move likely to provoke, Labour’s listing for the fringe event in its official programme refers to Ms Haigh as “shadow secretary of state to the North of Ireland”.
On the Labour party’s official website, Ms Haigh is referred to as “shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland”, but Sinn Fein takes offence to the name “Northern Ireland”.
Sinn Fein regards the official name of the province to be a British construct and anti-Irish.
One Conservative MP told Express.co.uk: “How can you say you support the future of the United Kingdom and at the same time welcome Sinn Fein with open arms?”
Another said: “If you lie down with dogs, don’t be surprised if you catch flees.
“Sinn Fein and the IRA, well they never did miss an opportunity did they to try and bash a Conservative Government.”
Sinn Fein is historically associated with the terrorist group the IRA.
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The paramilitary group was responsible for carrying out a number of attacks on Britain during the 1980s.
In 1984 the group targeted The Grant Hotel in Brighton while the city was hosting the Conservative party conference.
Then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and multiple cabinet ministers were staying at hotel when the IRA attacked it with a time bomb.
Five people died in the attack, including Conservative MP Sir Anthony Berry.
Margaret Tebbit, the wife of cabinet minister Norman Tebbit, was paralysed from the chest down.
Sinn Fein has appeared at a number of Labour Party conferences in the past to take part in fringe events.
Officials say the party remains committed to being “honest brokers” between all parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Labour Party declined to comment on Sinn Fein’s presence at this year’s party conference.
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