Assembly passes Alliance motion on DUP ‘in-out’ Ministers

Chris Lyttle MLA has said the ‘in-out’ DUP Ministers may be breaching the Assembly’s Pledge of Office by abdicating their Ministerial responsibilities.

The East Belfast MLA was speaking during an Alliance Assembly motion calling on DUP Ministers to return to their posts for good, following nearly six weeks of taking office and resigning a short period after. The Assembly passed the motion 54 votes to 34.

Mr Lyttle said several key pieces of legislation were awaiting Ministerial sign-off, meaning the most vulnerable in society were continuing to suffer due to the DUP’s actions.

“This entire situation has become more and more farcical with each passing day,” said Mr Lyttle.

“The DUP appear to have settled on a ‘now you see them, now you don’t approach,’ which has immeasurably hurt the people of Northern Ireland. Important debates have been ignored by the party on issues such as hospital waiting times, the refugee crisis and tax credits, while the party was able to send its MLAs in to vote to protect its Special Adviser positions and salaries.

“The running of public services should not be subject to political whims. The Health Service in particular has suffered. Waiting lists are growing; a joint strategy on domestic violence awaits sign-off with the Justice Minister having completed his part and the Mental Health Capacity Bill is being held up because of the lack of Ministerial evidence.

“That is just scratching the surface of the detrimental effect the DUP’s rolling resignations have had on people’s lives. The party’s inactions may well be a breach of the Pledge of Office for Ministers, which requires Ministers to discharge their duties in good faith, and participate in the Executive and Assembly. If a Minister accepts office knowing they will be unavailable to be scrutinised, it is a clear contradiction.

“The DUP need to stop playing silly games, listen to this motion and do what the public want, which is assume responsibility and have its Ministers return to office permanently to provide strategic leadership.”

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