Sean Neeson MLA said: “At the moment Arlene Foster is running a big government department and running a by-election campaign. I am sure the public will be worried in case she takes her eye off the ball during the election campaign. DETI is a vitally important brief and it requires a Minister who can devote all their attention to the job.
“As someone who has stood in many elections I know that Arlene Foster will have to spend a lot of her time campaigning in Enniskillen instead of focusing all her energy on her role as Enterprise Minister. She has stated that it will require much effort for unionism to hold onto this seat, so she will probably be spending a lot of her time knocking on doors.
“While she is involved in the by-election, she will not be fully focused on persuading foreign businesses to bring jobs and investment here. With the current uncertain economic climate, Arlene Foster should be doing all she can to bolster our economy, even over the summer.
“This issue will spark a debate as to whether Ministers should be forced to resign as Councillors and MPs when they take Ministerial office. There is a long awaited report on dual and triple mandates in the pipeline but I think a decision should be made in the autumn regarding Ministers holding other offices.
“Being a Minister is a full time job, so they can not be dedicating all their time to the job if they hold other offices or are contesting by-elections.”