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Did Sinn Fein MP sign Early Day Motions?

Michael Crick | 18:10 UK time, Monday, 24 January 2011

Whilst on the subject of Sinn Fein and its abstentionist attitude towards the Westminster Parliament, it was suggested to me a few weeks ago that one of their Westminster MPs may have breached - in a very small way - the party's boycott of the House of Commons.

Pat Doherty, the Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone, was down as having signed three House of Commons Early Day Motions [EDMs]. These were on the subjects of:

1. The Science is Vital Campaign
2. Government Funding for UK Science
3. Human Rights in Burma

He was down as having signed all three motions on 11 October 2010, and his name was still up on the Parliamentary website a few days before Christmas.

But now, Mr Doherty's name has been "withdrawn" from all three motions.

His office tell me that he never signed them in the first place - that it was an administrative mix-up, and that the signatory was in fact a Scottish Labour MP - in all probability Thomas Docherty. (I'm trying to check that with the Scottish Mr Docherty.)

Just as well, for, as the spokesman for Sinn Fein's Mr Doherty says:

"We don't do EDMs. We're abstentionist."

I'm still slightly puzzled though. For while Pat Doherty's name has been withdrawn from all three motions, Thomas Docherty's name hasn't been added to any of them instead.

Perhaps that's another cock-up.


  • Comment number 1.

    Sinn Feinn have been the USA`s little favourites for years ....and Gerry Adams` was on benefits and all sorts of allowances from his parliamentary non-career for years as well.

    How much has he cost us taxpayers for his services to British society?

    If the British nationalists had been taking the Micky like this the media would have hounded them and shamed the government into taking action.

    I admire the way the republicans have driven a cart and horses through all the injustice and hypocrisy of British society.

    What angers me is that I know very well English nationalists would be treated in a very different way....and are!

  • Comment number 2.

    Mr. Crick, you are reporting this too tongue in the cheek.

    This story would be so much stronger if we could be more certain as to which member of the extensive Doherty clan this refers to. Having spent forty years arguing with Sinn Fein I can assure you that only precise information will embarrass them.

    You might be onto a good story here particularly with the upcoming irish election but mild humour presented in a speculative manner is not good enough.


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