Assembly Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:45 pm on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Peter Robinson Peter Robinson DUP 3:45 pm, 9th March 1999

While Mr Haughey was speaking on another issue, I was reflecting, as he asked me to do, on the issue of the Public Accounts Committee. Subject to your ruling, Mr Initial Presiding Officer, I think that the clause, which we have already accepted, that there should be consistency of language would permit 54(3) to be amended to the effect that the nominating officer should prefer those who are not members of parties which have a Minister or a junior Minister. That would not restrict the First Minister or the Deputy First Minister in their choices. It would allow them — although I am not sure if they have this in mind — to appoint junior Ministers from each of the parties that might be considered Opposition parties.