Armstrong calls for Assembly to continue to meet over July and August

Alliance Chief Whip Kellie Armstrong MLA has called for the Assembly to continue to meet over July and August, and not go into recess at a crucial time.

Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong has made the formal request with Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey and will bring the issue to the Assembly’s Business Committee to seek agreement from other parties. The Assembly is due to take its summer recess from July 4 until September 6. She said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant MLAs should continue being able to pass crucial legislation and scrutinise Departments during the crisis.

“This summer, individuals, families, businesses and many others will likely still be under pressure from the coronavirus crisis, which will probably still be impacting everyday life,” she said.

“We are unlikely to have moved through all the steps of the Executive’s lockdown easing plan by the time of the scheduled recess. In addition, this year we will be facing a rapidly approaching Brexit, new immigrations laws and an already stretched health system. Now is not the time for MLAs to be away from the Chamber or their Committees.

“The Assembly only returned after three years away in January. To then pause legislating during these crises is wrong. I have asked the Speaker to formally respond to my request and I call on all the other parties to back it. It’s time we put our community first by continuing the full roles we were elected to do.”