Assembly: Committee on Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 6:15 pm on 1st July 1998.

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Photo of Eddie McGrady Eddie McGrady Social Democratic and Labour Party 6:15 pm, 1st July 1998

In order to assist the work of the Assembly and allow it to proceed with its business, we could take cognisance of the representations made for the three Members. On behalf of my party’s Chief Whip, I will be very conscious of that factor.

Irrespective of the arguments that have been put forward in this debate, we are circumscribed by the Standing Orders before us, which state that the maximum number shall be 18. I understand that the allocation of positions to parties is also prescribed by the Standing Orders. Nevertheless, 18 is the maximum number. We will be sympathetic to representations, but some of the other parties — particularly those that are advocating the rights of the three individuals — may have to cede one of their seats in the meantime. This could, however, be addressed at the first meeting of the Standing Orders Committee.