Lo says DUP use of petition of concern is another abuse of power

Anna Lo MLA has said the DUP’s use of a petition of concern to block an attempt to censure one of its MLAs is another abuse of power by the party.

The DUP’s Sammy Wilson was found guilty of breaking the Assembly’s code of conduct after calling TUV MLA Jim Allister a “thug”. However, a proposed motion scheduled for the Assembly today (Tuesday) censuring Mr Wilson has been blocked by the DUP’s use of petition of concern.

Anna Lo MLA said: “Once again we see the DUP’s use of a petition of concern to block any scrutiny of the party or its MLAs. This mechanism is designed to help protect minority groups and their interests, yet it is repeatedly wheeled out to prevent anything the party doesn’t agree with or might feel uncomfortable about.

“This whole process from beginning to end is demonstrative of a pattern throughout the DUP, where the party engages in the tactics of a schoolyard bully instead of participating in the democratic process.

“It is clear the petition of concern system needs reformed, as it currently operates as a veto for larger parties that in its current form is too easy to abuse. Petitions of concern should not be used to avoid censure, which seems to be the DUP’s favourite habit.”

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