Show Hide image The Staggers 27 April 2015 Why don’t Irish MPs sit in parliament? Sinn Féin abstains. Print HTML Sinn Féin is an Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Its central aim is for a united Ireland. It opposes Westminster’s jurisdiction in Northern Ireland, and its oath to the Queen, so its MPs abstain from sitting in parliament. It currently has five seats in Westminster, all of them abstentionist. The five MPs work for their constituents, and every so often visit Westminster to use its facilities and meet with government ministers, but refuse to sit in an institution they do not see as legitimate. There have been suggestions that the Sinn Féin MPs would take their seats to counterbalance a government propped up by the DUP (a unionist Northern Ireland party) MPs. But Sinn Féin denies this. The DUP has eight MPs who sit in parliament, and could prop up a Tory minority government. Then there’s the SDLP, an Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland, whose three MPs sit in parliament. They generally vote with Labour. › What would a Labour-SNP deal mean for energy policy? From only £1 a week Subscribe More Related articles Autumn Statement 2015: George Osborne abandons his target We don't need to build more prisons - we need to send fewer people there Can Trident be hacked?