Ford accuses Executive Ministers of insulting Assembly and public

David Ford MLA has said Government Ministers “insulted” the Assembly and the general public after they did not attend the vast majority of an Alliance debate calling for greater openness in Executive decisions.

The motion was defeated by a combined vote from DUP and Sinn Fein MLAs, alongside Justice Minister Claire Sugden. Mr Ford said the Executive was showing “contempt” for the institutions by not attending the debate, then “colluding” to prevent further shining a light on their deeds.

“The DUP and Sinn Fein have banded together a number of times to vote against motions which scrutinise their actions, methods and decisions,” said Mr Ford.

“During today’s debate, those two parties and the Justice Minister first decided to not even grace the chamber with the presence of any of their Ministers until the last two minutes of an almost two-hour debate. Throughout, their MLAs also openly mocked calls for more openness, which says a lot about their approach to transparency.

“Of course they once again cast aside their outward hostilities to unite against attempts to hold them to account on behalf of the public which elected them. That same public deserves more respect than to be treated like an afterthought, which is currently how they are by the Executive parties.

“It showed arrogance and contempt at an attempt to get to the truth of alleged financial scandals, efforts to expose secret changes to the law and more. The disrespect displayed at trying to end secrecy around the majority of Executive decisions shows the disdain the DUP and Sinn Fein truly hold the Assembly in.”

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