Assembly Business

– in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:30 am on 15th December 2020.

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Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP 11:30 am, 15th December 2020

I have an item of business that I have to transact. Members will have in front of them the revised indicative timings for today's business, which show that the Minister of Education was to be on his feet at roughly 12.35 pm. It is now 11.34 am, so I think that I can anticipate the response that I will get.

The statement arrived in the Speaker's Office at 11.18 am. Standing Order 18A(2) requires that a written copy of a statement be made available at least half an hour before it is delivered in the Chamber. That has not happened in this instance, but, as I said, I suspect I know what the explanation will be. Therefore, before calling the Minister, I propose, by leave of the Assembly, to suspend the sitting until 10.45 am in order to allow 10 minutes for Members to familiarise themselves with the statement

[Interruption.]

Mr O'Toole, do you want to make a point of order?

Photo of Matthew O'Toole Matthew O'Toole Social Democratic and Labour Party

Pardon me, Mr Principal Deputy Speaker: I did not mean to do it from a sedentary position. I believe that you said 10.45 am, but it will be 11.45 am.

Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP

The record is corrected. We will return at 11.45 am, so that Members have the chance to read the statement before questions.

Photo of Chris Lyttle Chris Lyttle Alliance

On a point of order, Mr Principal Deputy Speaker. I may have missed your initial remarks, but this applies to two back-to-back statements effectively. We are getting 10 minutes to read two significant statements.

Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP

I will tell you what I will do: we will have 10 minutes for the first one and five minutes for the next one. All right? Grand. Ten minutes, folks. The sitting is suspended for 10 minutes.

The sitting was suspended at 11.36 am and resumed at 11.45 am.