Northern Ireland

Brexit: Seamus Mallon says 'Parliament falling apart before our eyes'

Seamus Mallon
Image caption The former deputy first minister was speaking at the Kennedy Summer School in County Wexford

Parliament is "falling apart before our eyes" thanks to Brexit, one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement has said.

Seamus Mallon, former NI deputy first minister, described Boris Johnson as a "carpetbagger", which he defined as someone without principles.

He also added that many politicians who had "shouldered through Westminster" would be turning in their graves.

Mr Mallon was deputy first minister from 1998 to 2001.

'Lunacy'

He is considered to be one of the key negotiators of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

"The lunacy of putting a referendum in Britain in relation to trying to unite the Tory party was a monumental mistake, and they have staggered from one mistake after another," Mr Mallon told BBC News NI, on the margins of the Kennedy Summer School in County Wexford.

"And this is the mother of parliaments. This is the home of democratic political process and it is falling apart before our eyes, and it is doing it in such a way that a carpetbagger like Boris Johnson is now leading it as prime minister."

When asked to define what a carpetbagger was, Mr Mallon said it was "someone who has no principles, who will buy anybody and sell anybody for their own reasons and has only one thought in his mind and that's the furtherance of his own ambitions".

Mr Mallon, a former SDLP deputy leader, said it breaks his heart to see what is happening at Westminster.

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