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DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said it is high time Sinn Fein stopped playing politics with Covid-19 and focused on working with the other NI Executive parties to safeguard lives and livelihoods.

Mr Campbell said,

“We all have personal responsibility to follow the rules and limit our contacts with other people to reduce the spread of the virus. Patronising lectures from Sinn Fein about setting rules, ring hollow when we examine the party’s record on handling Covid-19.

From day one Sinn Fein has played politics with the virus. They follow the science when it suits, burst the rules asunder when it suits and tell the rest of us to “do as I say not as I do”.

1. At the start of the pandemic Sinn Fein somersaulted within hours on the timing of schools closing. The Deputy First Minister was forced to u-turn by party managers.

2. Then there was the fiasco about an elusive PPE order that could have cost the public purse £60m all because Sinn Fein wanted Dublin to deliver the PPE rather than London.

3. Michelle O’Neill initially poured cold water on use of the army to help keep public services functioning and distribute PPE before catching herself on.

4. SF told everyone else to obey the Covid-19 rules but the party organised a funeral for a PIRA man which burst almost every element of the rules.

5. Then SF was found to be in receipt of Covid-19 grants which were meant for struggling businesses and only paid them back when the media started asking questions.

6. As Gerry Adams once said “you never waste a good crisis” so Mary Lou tried to weaponize Covid-19 and claim it was an “accelerator” for a united Ireland.

7. Last week, a joint statement by the four UK nations about Christmas health advice was vetoed.

8. Just this week, SF want to override the health advice and demand a travel ban to GB yet don’t want the same for RoI.

The Sinn Fein story of the pandemic so far has been one of opportunism, exploitation and hypocrisy. Sinn Fein’s credibility in handling coronavirus is in tatters.

For Michelle O’Neill to say we “never deviated from the public health advice” was the final straw for many in Northern Ireland. Rather follow public health advice, Sinn Fein has flouted the rules and sought to score political points.

SF Ministers are certainly following advice but its the advice from Connolly House and its to the detriment of public health messaging.”