Phil Flanagan, Sinn Féin, in Stormont ban for ‘provocative comment’

Phil Flangan has been banned from speaking in the NI AssemblyPhil Flanagan has been banned from speaking in the NI Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s first Sinn Féin Speaker has punished a party colleague for challenging the authority of the chair during a debate last week.

Phil Flanagan will not be called to speak in the assembly until further notice after being found to have made “provocative” comments.

It was during a debate on whether the union flag should be retained on Northern Ireland driving licences.

He was found to have challenged the authority of deputy speaker Roy Beggs.

Mr Flanagan, an MLA for Fermanagh/South Tyrone, complained about the way the debate was being chaired after he was interrupted by unionists.

Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin said his party colleague had been provocative.

He said the punishment could be lifted by an apology to the House.

Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
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