Lo: Revised code of conduct for MLA’s to be welcomed

Alliance MLA Anna Lo has said the revised code of conduct for Assembly members provides an opportunity to increase public confidence on the legislative’s body integrity.

The MLA for South Belfast was speaking as the Assembly approved the new code of conduct which aims to set clear ground rules for how elected members are expected to act and raised her own experiences of receiving a racist slur in the past.

Anna Lo MLA said: “The Alliance Party endorses the updated eleven principles of conduct, 21 enforceable rules and the guide to rules that have now been updated.

“In particular, The Alliance Party welcomes the rules which deal with registering interests and prohibiting the receipt of gifts which might reasonably be thought to influence a member’s actions as they are important to ensure MLAs act in an impartial way.

“As someone who has received a racist slur on social media, albeit unintentionally from a MLA’s assistant, I personally would also endorse Rule 19, ensuring members take reasonable care to guarantee their staff, when acting on their behalf, upholds these rules of conduct.

“Given the ambiguity, the code was in need of an update; if we are to improve the levels of trust and confidence in the political system then we need to be as transparent and open as is possible and make it clear what MLAs can and cannot do.”

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