Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:12 pm on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Jeffrey M. Donaldson Jeffrey M. Donaldson DUP Chief Whip, Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business in the House of Commons) 1:12 pm, 24th October 2018

The Secretary of State has made several references in her speech so far to the political hiatus. Does she agree that the reason we do not have a functioning Executive and Assembly is that out of the five political parties in Northern Ireland eligible to be in the Executive, four—the Democratic Unionist party, the Ulster Unionist party, the Social Democratic and Labour party and the Alliance party—have all said that if the Secretary of State convenes a meeting of the Assembly for the purpose of appointing Ministers, they will be there and will appoint their Ministers immediately and without precondition, but one party, Sinn Fein, has declined to give such an undertaking? Should we not be honest with the House, and instead of blaming all of the political parties, put the focus where it belongs, on the people who do not take their seats here, who do not take their seats at Stormont and who are outside, looking in? They are the people denying Northern Ireland its proper democratic Government.