Doug Beattie launches bid to have Stormont sit for second day

UUP MLA Doug Beattie has tabled his own recall petition to have Stormont sit for a second day on Tuesday.

Mr Beattie wants MLAs the Assembly to meet to discuss the effect of 1,000 days without devolution on Northern Ireland.

MLAs are set to return to the Stormont chamber for the first time since 2017 on Monday to discuss changes to Northern Ireland’s abortion laws introduced from Westminster.

Anti-abortion campaign group Both Lives Matter said 31 MLAs had signed a petition to force a recall of the Assembly to discuss a motion to put the issue back in the hands of local politicians.

However, a ministerial executive will only be formed once the DUP and Sinn Fein resolve their long-standing differences and agree to enter into a coalition again.

The UUP’s Steve Aiken said his party would attend, however, Mr Beattie dismissed the move, saying it would have “zero chance” of success.

Mr Beattie said if MLAs could attend the chamber on Monday then there was no reason they couldn’t be there on Tuesday.

“The fact is Monday will change nothing unless there is an Executive in place. We have had over 1,000 days of spiralling health waiting lists, crisis in education and buckling public services,” the former soldier said.

We don’t need a pointless talking shop. Naomi Long

“If we can be in the chamber to debate abortion reform on Monday, then we can be there on Tuesday too to discuss how the country is falling down around us.

Locked gates at Stormont (Niall Carson/PA)
Locked gates at Stormont (Niall Carson/PA)



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