Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:00 pm on 19th December 2016.

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Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP 12:00 pm, 19th December 2016

Of course it undermines this place when Members do not stay here to ask the appropriate questions but instead go outside and indulge in media spin. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that some Members have done that: we all remember the Ulster Unionist Party's stunt when I was appointed after the election. They said that they were going out of the Executive, and it was "Bring it on" and all that stuff. What was it? "Let battle begin", was that it? That was when they decided not to go into the Executive. They ran away then, and, of course, they ran away before that over the Fresh Start talks when they decided not to engage in that either. This is not new; it is a pattern. I do not think that they serve their constituents well: they do not. If they want to challenge me, the place to challenge me is in the House, but instead they will stay out. They will come this afternoon and put down an exclusion motion even though they have not been here to question me on the issues. They will come here with an exclusion motion even before the PAC has finished its investigation. They have made up their mind about the First Minister of Northern Ireland, but, thankfully, the electorate has also made up its mind about the First Minister of Northern Ireland.