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Sinn Féin: Francie Molloy says wrong time for leadership challenge

Michelle O'NeillImage copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Michelle O’Neill pictured with Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy and Martin McGuinness in 2007

A Sinn Féin MP has mentioned he is “disappointed” that John O’Dowd is difficult Michelle O’Neill for her place as celebration vice-president.

Last month Mr O’Dowd introduced he was searching for nominations forward of the celebration’s ard fheis (annual convention).

On Thursday, Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew mentioned she was backing Mr O’Dowd.

But Mid-Ulster MP Francie Molloy mentioned it’s the “wrong time” for a leadership contest.

Ms O’Neill grew to become Sinn Féin’s Stormont chief in 2017, earlier than turning into vice-president a 12 months later as the one candidate put ahead for the function.

Mr O’Dowd is a former Stormont training minister and served as deputy first minister when Martin McGuinness ran within the Irish presidential election in 2011.

He has not but set out his causes for operating.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Michelle O’Neill and John O’Dowd have been each ministers within the Stormont govt

Speaking to BBC’s Inside Politics programme, Mr Molloy, a long-standing member of Sinn Féin, mentioned he was involved that there can be “very little that goes unchallenged” inside the celebration sooner or later.

“I’m disappointed people have put in the challenge at this time before the leadership has been able to start delivering, with the assembly back up and running,” he mentioned.

“I don’t see any difference in what John O’Dowd is saying about the political direction we’re going in… I think if you’re challenging you have to set out what’s different from the present leadership.”

Mr Molloy acknowledged there had been a shift within the celebration, after Gerry Adams had stepped down after greater than 30 years as Sinn Féin president.

“We’re in different times now, we’re trying to drive politics forward, Brexit is a major issue and it’s just the wrong time,” he added.

This interview will seem on Inside Politics on BBC Radio Ulster on 13 September at 18:05 and is accessible on the BBC Sounds app as properly.

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