Assembly: Shadow Statutory Committees

– in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 7:31 pm on 29th November 1999.

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Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer 7:31 pm, 29th November 1999

It was agreed during the suspension that we would proceed through the motion establishing Shadow Statutory Departmental Committees to the appointment of Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen.

Before we move to item 6 on the Order Paper I want to point out two things. First, for those Committee Chairpersons who are appointed this evening there will be a briefing in Room 21, if they so wish, at the end of this sitting. Others can get briefing at their leisure tomorrow or the day after. The Clerk of Committees will be available in Room 21 to give them their briefing and introduce them to their Committee Clerks.

Secondly, this is a more complex procedure than the d’Hondt for Ministers because of the requirement that nominating officers shall not nominate someone to be a Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Committee in which their party has an interest, in whose Department it has a Minister. This may mean that parties will sometimes need to avail of the opportunity for a short recess. We should try to be economical with time. Although parties have the right to ask for a recess of up to 15 minutes, they do not have to take 15 minutes every time. I would like them to indicate whether they want five minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes, as the number of appointments to be made is substantial.

Resolved:

That

- ten Shadow Statutory Committees be established to advise and assist each Northern Ireland Minister (Designate) in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his/her responsibilities and to undertake a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to each of the Ministers (Designate) which it will advise and assist;

- a Shadow Statutory Committee will be established to advise and assist each of the following:

the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure the Minister of Education the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment the Minister of the Environment the Minister of Finance and Personnel the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety the Minister of Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment the Minister for Regional Development the Minister for Social Development;

- each Shadow Statutory Committee shall consist of 11 members.

— [Mr Cobain and Mr Haughey]

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I am now required to supervise the appointment of a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman of each Statutory Committee. I wish to remind Members of the requirements set out in Initial Standing Orders. I shall ask the nominating officer of each political party, in the order required by the formula contained in Initial Standing Orders, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

A nominating officer, if unable to be present, can indicate in writing that someone else will nominate. I have already received one message, and I may receive others, in regard to that. Also Mr McCartney has advised me that he will not be making any nominations and that he has not authorised anyone else to make nominations on his behalf. When we come to that point I will remind the House, but since he has formally advised me of the fact, it will not be necessary to wait for his nominations, which will clearly not be forthcoming. Should a nominating officer require further time to consider a selection or nomination, it is open to me to permit a brief suspension. I would ask that you specify five, 10 or 15 minutes. If no such request is made, and the nominating officer does not make the selection or nomination required, or the nominee does not take up the selected Committee office within five minutes, I am required to pass on to the nominating officer next in line.

There are three key matters which nominating officers must bear in mind. A Minister (Designate) or junior Minister (Designate) — that does not apply at present — may not be the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Shadow Statutory Committee. No Member may be nominated to serve as a Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Shadow Statutory Committee if he is the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of another Committee. In making nominations, nominating officers shall prefer Committees in which they do not have a party interest. A nominating officer has a party interest in a Committee if it is established to advise a Minister (Designate) who is a member of his party.

I call Mr Trimble, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the highest figure, to select a Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

I assume that we are filling the chairmanships first and the deputy chairmanships afterwards.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I should have pointed out that it is entirely open to nominating officers to nominate a Chairman or a Deputy Chairman. It seems likely that they will choose Chairmen rather than Deputy Chairmen, but all are free to choose.

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

I select the education portfolio and nominate Mr Kennedy to be Chairman of that Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is Mr Kennedy willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Danny Kennedy Danny Kennedy UUP

I accept the office.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Danny Kennedy as Chairman of the Education Committee. I shall now call on Mr Hume —

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I cannot take points of order during the procedure, just as I could not take them while Ministers were being nominated.

I call Mr Hume, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mr John Hume Mr John Hume Social Democratic and Labour Party

I select the Regional Development Committee and nominate Denis Haughey.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is Mr Haughey willing to accept the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Mr Denis Haughey Mr Denis Haughey Social Democratic and Labour Party

Glacaim, a Chathaoirligh. I accept. Thank you.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Denis Haughey as Chairman of the Regional Development Committee.

I now call on Dr Paisley, as the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

I select myself to be Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member prepared to accept the office for which he has been nominated? [Laughter]

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Dr Paisley as Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

I now call Mr Adams, as nominating officer — I apologise, I read the wrong name. I call Mr Pat Doherty, as nominating officer —

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I am sorry. It is my mistake. Mr Pat Doherty is the nominating officer of the party, but he has asked that Mr McLaughlin nominate on his behalf.

I call Mr Mitchel McLaughlin, standing as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mitchel McLaughlin Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. I request a 10-minute suspension.

The sitting was suspended at 7.42 pm and resumed at 7.52 pm.

Photo of Mitchel McLaughlin Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin

Ainmním Pat Doherty mar Chathaoirleach an Choiste Fiontraíochta, Trádála agus Infheistíochta. I nominate Pat Doherty to be Chairman of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Pat Doherty as Chairman of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

I now call Mr Trimble, as the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

I nominate Mr Cobain to be Chairman of the Social Development Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Fred Cobain Fred Cobain UUP

I accept the nomination.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Cobain as Chairman of the Social Development Committee.

I now call Mr John Hume, as the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mr John Hume Mr John Hume Social Democratic and Labour Party

I nominate Dr Joe Hendron to be Chairman of the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Dr Joe Hendron as Chairman of the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee.

I now call Dr Paisley, as the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

I have to ask for 15 minutes.

The sitting was suspended at 7.55 pm and resumed at 8.10 pm.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Dr Paisley, I ask you to make a nomination.

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

I select the Environment Committee and nominate Dr William McCrea to be its Chairman.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of William McCrea William McCrea DUP

I am willing to take up the office.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Rev Dr William McCrea as Chairman of the Environment Committee.

I now call Mr Trimble, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select a Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and a Member of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

I nominate Dr Esmond Birnie to be Chairman of the Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I announce the appointment of Dr Birnie as Chairman of the Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment Committee.

I call Mr McLaughlin, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select a Committee and nominate a person who is a member of his party and a Member of the Assembly to be Chairman or Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mitchel McLaughlin Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. I would like a suspension of five minutes.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

The sitting is suspended for five minutes.

The sitting was suspended at 8.11 pm and resumed at 8.17 pm.

Photo of Mitchel McLaughlin Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. Ainmním Francie Molloy mar Chathaoirleach Choiste Airgeadais agus Pearsanra. I nominate Francie Molloy to be Chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to accept the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Francie Molloy Francie Molloy Sinn Féin

Go raibh agat, a Chathaoirligh. Yes, I accept the nomination.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Molloy as Chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee.

As Mr Hume has had to leave, I call on Mr Mallon, who is now the nominating officer of the SDLP, the party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be its Chairman or Deputy Chairman.

Photo of Mr Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party

I select Culture, Arts and Leisure and nominate Eamonn ONeill.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to accept the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Eamonn ONeill as Chairman of the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee.

I call on Mr Trimble, as the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be a Deputy Chairman of it, there being no chairmanships left.

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

I select the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and nominate Mr George  Savage.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of George Savage George Savage UUP

I am willing to take up that office.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr George Savage as Deputy Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

I call Dr Paisley, as the nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a member of his party and of the Assembly to be a Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is Mr Wilson willing to accept the office to which he has been nominated?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Sammy Wilson as Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee.

I now call Mr Sean Neeson, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Séan Neeson Séan Neeson Alliance

I nominate myself to be Deputy Chairman of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Am I correct in assuming that the Member who has been nominated for this office is willing to accept the nomination? [laughter]

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Neeson as Deputy Chairman of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

I now call Mr McLaughlin, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mitchel McLaughlin Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat. Ainmním Michelle Gildernew mar leasChaothairleach Social Development. I nominate Michelle Gildernew to be a Deputy Chairman of the Social Development Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to take up the office for which she has been nominated?

Photo of Michelle Gildernew Michelle Gildernew Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. Yes, I accept the nomination.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Ms Gildernew as Deputy Chairman of the Social Development Committee.

I call Mr Mallon, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mr Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party

I beg your indulgence, Mr Initial Presiding Officer, and that of the House. I reluctantly ask for a 10-minute suspension.

The sitting was suspended at 8.22 pm and resumed at 8.34pm.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Things are becoming increasingly complicated, but I call Mr Mallon to make his nomination.

Photo of Mr Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party

I choose the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee and nominate Mr Tommy Gallagher. [Interruption]

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I cannot take any points of order, but I sense some uncertainty about procedures. Let me try to refresh your minds and give you the benefit of my understanding. The Initial Standing Orders and, as far as we can determine, the substantive Standing Orders insist that one shall prefer the chairmanship or the deputy chairmanship where there is no party involvement at ministerial level.

For that reason — and as far as I can ascertain, there is no bar to this — we are going to have parties with a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman of the same Committee. I appreciate that it is becoming more complicated for the parties to work out their arrangements, but the situation is different from that for the selection of Ministers.

I call Mr Trimble, as nominating officer of the political party for which —

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

We have been under a misapprehension. We nominated people to certain positions because we thought that we could not have a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman on the same Committee. However, our cause is lost now.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I appreciate that people may not understand the procedures. You have my apologies for that, but I cannot take responsibility for it.

Photo of Derek Hussey Derek Hussey UUP

You cannot move on until the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee position has been accepted.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

You are correct. Will Mr Gallagher indicate that he is willing to accept the nomination?

Photo of Tommy Gallagher Tommy Gallagher Social Democratic and Labour Party

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. I accept.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Gallagher as Deputy Chairman of the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee.

I call Mr Trimble, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to accept the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Alan McFarland Alan McFarland UUP

I accept the nomination.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr McFarland as Deputy Chairman of the Regional Development Committee.

I call Dr Paisley, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

I select the Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment Committee, and nominate Mr Mervyn Carrick to be its Deputy Chairman.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member willing to accept the office for which he has been nominated?

Photo of Mr Mervyn Carrick Mr Mervyn Carrick DUP

I accept the nomination.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Mervyn Carrick as Deputy Chairman of the Shadow Statutory Committee on Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment.

At this point I should be calling Mr McCartney as the nominating officer of the next political party. However, as I said earlier, the Member advised me that he would not be here. He also indicated to me formally that he did not wish to make a nomination and that he had not authorised anyone to make any nominations on his behalf.

I therefore call Mr Mallon, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be Deputy Chairman of it.

Photo of Mr Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party

I have to confess that I am becoming very confused. I apologise to everyone, but may I beg the indulgence of the Assembly for five minutes while I consult with colleagues?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

A little uncertainty about the procedures at this point is entirely understandable.

The sitting was suspended at 8.39 pm and resumed at 8.44 pm.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I ask Mr Mallon to make his nomination.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member nominated for this position willing to accept it?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Ms Hanna as Deputy Chairman of the Environment Committee.

I now call Mr David Trimble, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select an available Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be its Deputy Chairman.

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party

I select the Finance and Personnel Committee and nominate Mr James Leslie.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member nominated for this position willing to accept it?

Photo of Mr James Leslie Mr James Leslie UUP

I accept the office.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mr Leslie as Deputy Chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee.

I now call Mr Mitchel McLaughlin, as nominating officer of the political party for which the formula laid down in Standing Orders gives the next-highest figure, to select the only remaining Shadow Statutory Committee and to nominate a person who is a member of his party and of the Assembly to be its Deputy Chairman.

Photo of Mitchel McLaughlin Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin

Ainnním Mary Nelis mar leis chathaoirleach Choiste Cultúir, Ealaíon agus Fóillíochta. Go raibh maith agat. I nominate Mary Nelis for the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

Is the Member who has been nominated for this office willing to accept it?

Photo of Mary Nelis Mary Nelis Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a Chathaoirligh. Tá. May I be called Deputy Chairperson instead of Deputy Chairman? It is important that we get the gender terminology correct. I accept.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I therefore announce the appointment of Mrs Nelis as Deputy Chairperson of the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee.

This brings to a conclusion the procedure for the appointment of Chairmen and Deputy Chairman of the Shadow Statutory Committees. A complete list of the names of those who have become Ministers, Chairmen or Deputy Chairmen should be available in the Printed Paper Office in about 15 minutes’ time.

The sitting will now be suspended, to be resumed at 10.30 am tomorrow, when I will seek an early suspension to enable the Chief Whips to decide on Committee memberships, which will be formally announced later in the day. There will then be a final brief item of business.

Photo of Derek Hussey Derek Hussey UUP 8:45 pm, 29th November 1999

Can you confirm that the refusal of Mr McCartney to nominate allowed Sinn Féin to gain that position?

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer

I am astonished that there should be any lack of clarity about the matter, but I do so confirm. I recommend that Mr Hussey obtain the list that will be available in 15 minutes in the Printed Paper Office.

The sitting was suspended at 8.46 pm.