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In response to an answer from Finance Minister Conor Murphy, refusing to plant a rose in the grounds of the Stormont Estate which had been bred to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland, East Belfast MLA Robin Newton said,

"This is another backward, petty and horrible decision by a Sinn Fein minister. Planting a rose within the grounds of Stormont to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary should not be controversial.

The Minister’s response comes on back of the Sinn Fein decision to veto a commemorative stone, at no cost to the public purse, within Parliament Buildings.

Sinn Fein clearly don’t want any British symbols about the place and now don’t even want homegrown flowers which might have British connotations in the Stormont lawn.

There is no future in such narrow and twisted politics. If Sinn Fein can’t even tolerate a rose, it doesn’t say much about their respect for those of us who have a British identity.

Clearly when Sinn Fein get power, it goes to their head and any hint of a shared future gets thrown out the window or in this case, on the compost heap. Unionists in Sinn Fein controlled councils have been living with such base and intolerant politics for too long and it is now infecting Stormont too”


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