Parliament Buildings, Stormont

Delayed Assembly Speaker decision welcomed

Wednesday 08 March 2017

The Green Party has welcomed the decision to delay the election of an Assembly Speaker, stating that it provides room for manoeuvre as talks continue to restore power sharing at Stormont.

Steven Agnew met with other party whips earlier today (Tuesday 07 March) and it was agreed that the election of a speaker will happen on Monday 27 March, two weeks after MLAs are due to take their seats.

The election of a Speaker has immediately followed MLAs taking their seats at the beginning of previous mandates.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew said:

“Parties should be given as much time as possible to find a way forward and thrash out the issues that have blighted the relationship between the traditional parties.

“There was a huge voter turn-out last Thursday – a touch under 65% percent. People voted for devolution, the restoration of our structures and political progress thereafter.

The North Down MLA added:

“As MLAs we need to ensure that this opportunity is not wasted and some room for manoeuvre can certainly help matters.

“It’s critical that progress is made and a budget is agreed upon as soon as possible. As MLAs returned to work this week, thousands of people sit on protective notice because there is no budget. This remains an unacceptable situation involving really dedicated people in the voluntary and community sector doing vital work.

ENDS

Media contact – Sinead McIvor

07701 302 498

Tags: ,