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SDLP party whip resigns in protest over partnership with Fianna Fáil

SDLP party whip resigns in protest over partnership with Fianna Fáil

One of the SDLP’s most high profile members has resigned the party whip in protest at its partnership with Fianna Fail.

Claire Hanna is also quitting as the party’s Brexit spokesperson.

The South Belfast Assembly member, who is a vocal critic of the link-up with Fianna Fáil, will remain a member of the SDLP.

Ms Hanna, who has enjoyed a rapid ascent through the party ranks and was seen by many as a potential future leader, believes the alignment with a traditionally conservative party is inconsistent with the SDLP’s social democratic principles.

The Fianna Fáil link-up was endorsed by more than two to one of SDLP members who attended a special party conference in Newry, Co Down on Saturday.

Ms Hanna supported a defeated motion that opposed the exclusive relationship with Fianna Fáil and instead advocated a broader approach to political collaboration south of the border, incorporating other parties such as Fine Gael and Labour.

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