Secretary of State “being disingenuous” to disallow Assembly debates – McCarthy

Alliance Party Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy has angrily condemned the Secretary of State for banning MLAs from discussing essential issues affecting those who elected them next week.

The Strangford Assembly member blasted: “The Secretary of State is being utterly disingenuous when he says there was ‘no agreement’ on which issues to discuss next week. The four parties on the Business Committee had all agree four key topics, and it is an outrage that he is stopping us discussing them.

“The parties had agreed to discuss the Review of Public Administration, a financial package for peace, the Mental Health review, and removal of automatic 50% remission for sex offenders. These are all priority issues for the public which elected us.

“This is a shameful and outright denial of democracy. The people of Northern Ireland are being denied a say by unaccountable direct rulers who are perhaps afraid of what their representatives might suggest.

“When the parties have agreed a way forward on behalf of the people they represent, that must be the way forward. Most of all, the Secretary of State must not deny there is consensus when clearly there is for his own narrow political objectives.

“Once again, we in the Alliance Party are demanding a reversal of this decision, and the right for MLAs to debate these issues in the chamber on Monday and Tuesday.”


NOTE: Only Sinn Féin did not agree to the business for next week, as it is boycotting the Assembly in any case.

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