Assembly Business

– in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:30 am on 22 June 2021.

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Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice 10:30, 22 June 2021

On a point of order, Mr Principal Deputy Speaker. Is it not beyond ridiculous that, in this, the centenary of the official opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament, that event is to go wholly unmarked in the Chamber today? Why is that?

Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP

Thank you, Mr Allister. You know that Standing Order 24 relates to Matters of the Day. My understanding is that two such Matters of the Day were submitted to the Speaker's Office, one of which you have referred to. The Standing Order outlines circumstances in which Matters of the Day shall be called. Ultimately, that power resides not with me, Mr Beggs or Mr McGlone but with Mr Speaker, acting in conjunction with the Speaker's Office, and he has given a ruling on the matter. My understanding is that the Building is to be lit up to mark the important centenary. Speaking personally and outside my capacity as Principal Deputy Speaker, I think that it is appropriate and right that such a centenary be marked.

Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice

Further to that point of order, I certainly welcome the fact that my application to have the Building illuminated tonight has been granted. This is the successor Chamber of the Northern Ireland Parliament. This is a momentous day. It is a slight upon all who value it that, within the Chamber, that event is consciously and deliberately being refused to be marked. Shame on the situation.

Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP

Speaking as someone who does value it, I want to say again that the ruling was made by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, not by the person presently occupying the Chair or any of the Deputy Speakers. We should move on.