Tag Archives: East Antrim MLA

Ban on Allister speaking in Assembly

The North Antrim MLA was punished for clashing with UUP Deputy Speaker Roy Beggs last week. During a debate on the North South Ministerial Council, Mr Allister tried to ask deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness whether alleged non-cooperation by Gardaí over the pending Kingsmills inquest had been brought up. However, Mr Beggs tried to prevent him from making the query as he said it did not relate to Mr McGuinness’s statement. Mr Allister did not retake his seat or stop making his point despite a number of requests from Mr Beggs. He later questioned the consistency with which the Deputy Speaker had chaired that item of business. On Tuesday, Sinn Féin principal Deputy Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin said the TUV leader’s behaviour toward Mr Beggs during the exchange had been among the worst the Assembly had witnessed. “I know that the Member will try to spin this, but let me be … Continue reading

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Assembly fails to elect new Speaker

The vote was held at Stormont on Monday after veteran DUP politician Willie Hay retired from the role for health reasons. There had been an informal agreement, made in 2007, that principal Deputy Speaker Mr McLaughlin would replace Mr Hay halfway through the Assembly term. However the DUP abstained from voting after deciding it would not support Mr McLaughlin, who has been filling in for Mr Hay over the past few weeks, as the new Assembly Speaker. First Minister Peter Robinson has said the matter must be dealt with in the forthcoming talks. Meanwhile the UUP’s Roy Beggs and the SDLP’s John Dallet, who are both Deputy Speakers, were also nominated by their parties but did not receive enough votes to be elected. Father of the House Sam Gardiner, the oldest Stormont representative, said: “As a speaker has not been elected it will be necessary to return to this matter … Continue reading

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Health Minister Jim Wells said child heart surgery may, in future, be carried …

Health Minister Jim Wells said child heart surgery may, in future, be carried out in Dublin, on 14 October 2014. Mr Wells was delivering a statement on the outcome of the October monitoring round and a report on paediatric congenital heart services. An International Working Group, made up of leading physicians in the field, recommended a “single service model” for the island of Ireland, which would mean surgery in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital would cease. Minister Wells said, “the simple reality is that we cannot reach these standards alone”, but assured MLAs his priority remained “patient safety and effective delivery of care”. Mr Wells said that, at present, a very small number of “less complex” paediatric cardiac operations and interventional procedures take place in Belfast, and cardiac treatment for adults would continue there. However, he said he “could not ignore the expertise and experience” of the working group and, subject … Continue reading

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MLAs unable to agree new Speaker

MLAs were unable to agree the appointment of a new Speaker for the Assembly, on 13 October 2014. Three candidates were proposed – Sinn Fein’s Mitchel McLaughlin, the SDLP’s John Dallat and Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs, but none received the necessary cross-community support. Another vote will take place “at a later date”, to be agreed by the Business Committee. Deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness called on the DUP to “honour the commitment” made by their late, former leader Dr Ian Paisley, that Mitchel McLaughlin would succeed William Hay as Speaker. He said it was “time for someone of the Republican tradition” to take up the role and described Mitchel McLaughlin as “well qualified to do so” as a “man of high intellect, always civil, always courteous “. DUP First Minister Peter Robinson said his party and Sinn Fein had agreed a “package that supported all our interests”, encompassing … Continue reading

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Jim Allister barred from speaking in assembly after clash with Roy Beggs

14 October 2014 Last updated at 06:36 ET By Gareth Gordon BBC News NI Political Correspondent Jim Allister has been banned from speaking in the assembly until 10 November Jim Allister has been barred from speaking in the Northern Ireland Assembly for a month due to a clash with a deputy speaker. The TUV leader was told on Tuesday that his behaviour towards Roy Beggs was among the worst the assembly had seen. The deputy principal speaker, Mitchel McLaughlin, said the North Antrim MLA had breached standing orders. He has been banned from speaking in the chamber until 10 November. Mr McLaughlin said the the breach occurred when Mr Allister challenged the consistency of how Mr Beggs had chaired a session in the assembly and had suggested that the deputy speaker had acted at the behest of a clerk. He said Mr Allister has had several warnings in the past … Continue reading

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