Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness agreed that a Sinn Fein MLA would replace William Hay during the Assembly term. On Monday, the DUP refused to honour that agreement and did not support Sinn Fein’s nominee Mitchel McLaughlin.
David Ford MLA said: “This is not the first time that Peter Robinson has broken his word, nor will it be the last, but now the Assembly will be left in limbo as we continue without a Speaker.
“The DUP should have honoured the deal that they made in 2011. They are attempting to politicise the Speaker’s Office. The Speaker cannot and should not be seen to act on behalf of any one party; they should be independent and act in the interests of the Assembly as a whole. The way for this to have happened was to have elected Mitchel McLaughlin.”