"The Tories are the real spongers", claims McGuinness at anti-austerity rally

"The Tories are the real spongers", claims McGuinness at anti-austerity rally

MARTIN McGuinness addressed thousands of anti-austerity marchers in London over the weekend.

The First Minister for the North of Ireland attended the End Austerity Now rally, organised by the People’s Assembly, which attracted up to a quarter of a million people from across the country on Saturday (June 20).

Gathering at the Bank of England in central London, the group then made its way to Westminster to protest at the Conservative government’s plans for billions of pounds of welfare and social cuts.

Martin McGuinness told the crowds that his Sinn Féin party were anti-austerity, before labelling the Tories  "the real spongers".

He said: “Unlike the Tory millionaires, I live in the heart of the proud working class community of the Bogside in Derry.

“The people the Tories are targeting are my friends, my neighbours, my family. They are fine, hard-working, proud and decent - just like our people in working class unionist communities.

“They are not parasites or spongers. It is Cameron's cabinet of millionaires who are the real spongers given free rein to live out their Thatcherite fantasies at the expense of ordinary, decent communities throughout these islands.

“Austerity is devastating these communities," he added.

The First Minister blamed the current Westminster administration for bringing the political institutions in the North to the brink of collapse with their budgetary restrictions.

Other speakers at the rally included Russell Brand and singer Charlotte Church. Similar rallies took place in Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol on the same day.

At the Glasgow demonstration, Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary of the Unite union, told protesters that that "bad laws" are there to be broken.

He was referring to the proposed Trade Unions Bill, which will introduce a 50% threshold for strike ballots and allow union members to opt out of donating to political parties.