Ministerial Code: Independent Investigation of Alleged Breaches

Part of Private Members' Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:45 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Alex Attwood Alex Attwood Social Democratic and Labour Party 4:45 pm, 24th January 2017

Whatever it is, it is a flip-flop. It is trying to cover your tracks. It is having said to people that everything was all right when things were not all right. People saw through it. That is why Sinn Féin is today supporting something that it did not support less than 18 months ago and why, on the other hand, it has rushed to an election.

If there is anything worse than that, it is the speech of Pam Cameron, who said during her contribution — in the week that is in it, in the months that are in it, can you believe that this is the approach of the DUP? Why should we have this model: "to create issues where none exist"? She said it is better to have no legislation than bad legislation. Will Pam Cameron explain to people where she sees that we are trying to create issues where none exist? What world have you been living in for the last two or three months?

That is why Mr Agnew is right to say that there will be anger. There will be anger at the DUP on the day that a public inquiry is established into RHI, belatedly endorsed by Sinn Féin because it had no place else to turn. The DUP says, "Why create issues where none exist?". In a pincer movement, Sinn Féin tries to cover its tracks by saying, "Let us have support for what Steven Agnew, Claire Sugden, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists all voted for less than 18 months ago." Some people talk straight and some people have not been talking straight. In a short space of time, people will have to make a judgement about whether the future is about those who talk straight and those who do not.