“On his appointment as Speaker, he publicly recognised it was his role to ‘protect the interests, integrity and procedures of the House and be fair in the way business is conducted,’ said Mrs long.
“He also pledged to uphold the rights of all parts of the Chamber to express their views and concerns of their constituents. Clearly the use of prerogative powers by the Executive is a significant challenge to the integrity of the Assembly, and a deliberate and concerted attempt to circumvent the Assembly scrutiny process over which he is guardian.
“It remains unclear as to whether these prerogative powers have been used previously in cases where the matter did not come to public light.
“This raises significant issues for the Speaker in terms of how he will use his position to protect the integrity of the Assembly and its ability to hold to account the Executive on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland, and prevent government by decree.”