Sinn Fein MLA Flanagan apologises for ‘provocative’ remarks

A Sinn Fein Assembly member has apologised for remarks made during a debate last week.

Phil Flanagan had been banned from speaking after his contribution to a discussion on the use of Union Flags on Northern Ireland driving licences was deemed to be provocative.

The Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA said: “I apologise to you for remarks that I made during a debate here last Tuesday evening, which you have deemed, in your infinite wisdom, to have been a challenge to the chair.

“I fully accept your ruling and I certainly will not challenge it.

“I offer my sincere apologies for the comments that you deemed to be a challenge to the chair.”

Mr Flanagan had complained about the way a debate was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Roy Beggs after he was interrupted by unionists.

His punishment was handed out by Mitchel McLaughlin, a Sinn Fein party colleague who was elected Speaker last month.

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