Sinn Féin defends abstentionism policy claiming it's what supporters want

Sinn Féin has defended claiming over £1m from Westminster in the past decade while refusing to take up seats.

The party has faced criticism today after it was revealed that it receives around £100,000 a year despite its abstentionist policy.

It currently has seven MPs elected to Westminster - they meet with other parties but do not sit in Parliament.

Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly said it is what their supporters want.

"I was out canvassing during the Westminister elections, I knocked on many, many doors," said Ms O'Reilly.

"People fully support our policy of abstentionism because they know Sinn Féin, no matter where are seated, will provide them with a top class constituency service," she added.

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