Danny Kennedy: Order. The simple fact is that Standing Orders, I accept, are silent on certain matters, but where they are clear, Mr McCann, is that Standing Order 1(2) states: "The Speaker's ruling shall be final on all questions of procedure and order." On that basis, the ruling applies to the Speaker, the Principal Deputy Speaker, the Deputy Speakers and any temporary Speaker. You may not like that...
Danny Kennedy: That is not a matter on which I can comment. I think that the Member well knows that. I am not in a position to comment on that or even to speculate on it. I am not sure that it is terribly helpful that the Member does so. Mr Weir has been patient.
Danny Kennedy: Further to that point of order, I am in the happy position that I did not hear everything that the Member said, and sometimes that is an advantage. It is an advantage as a Minister, it is an advantage as a Member, and it is certainly an advantage when you are Deputy Speaker.
Danny Kennedy: In my view, it will be a matter for the accused Members to address. It is not a matter that I can give attention to in the heat of the debate at present.
Danny Kennedy: Order.
Danny Kennedy: Order. I ask the Member to resume his seat. I strongly advise the Member to leave the chairing of proceedings to those who are appointed to do it. I am not sure that your advice is any more helpful or useful than some of the other contributions. You have had the opportunity to put your comments on the record.
Danny Kennedy: The Member largely makes a political observation. I have clearly set out my ruling on the issue, and that is clear to all Members present in the Chamber. We must move on.
Danny Kennedy: That matter will need further due consideration. I am not sure that I am in a position to answer that this evening. What is abundantly clear and what I have made absolutely clear is that it is regrettable that Mr Murphy did not observe the conventions of the House when he was called to move the motion. Whether or not that affords protection is a more legal matter than I am able to answer...
Danny Kennedy: The Business Committee has agreed to allow up to one hour and 30 minutes for the debate. The proposer of the motion will have 10 minutes to propose and 10 minutes to make a winding-up speech. All other Members who wish to speak will have five minutes.
Danny Kennedy: Order. I ask Members to leave the Chamber quietly and show some respect to the remaining debate and the speakers.
Danny Kennedy: I ask the Member to return to the motion.
Danny Kennedy: Thank you. That is the end of the first party election broadcast. [Laughter.]
Danny Kennedy: Order. It is clear that the Member does not wish to give way.
Danny Kennedy: Order. I ask all Members to allow proper respect to the Member for him to be heard.
Danny Kennedy: I thank the Member for the number of points of order that he has raised. The meeting of the Business Committee is, I think, still scheduled to take place tomorrow. The Member raised the issue of the speculation about a statement that may or may not be made later today by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on when the Assembly will be dissolved, if it fails to elect a First Minister...
Danny Kennedy: Order. I have been reasonably tolerant in allowing Members to stray somewhat in their contributions, given the day that is in it, from the matters before us. I encourage all Members, including, now, the Minister, to address the regulations.
Danny Kennedy: Order. I have to say I did not expect Mordecai to feature. Question put and agreed to. Resolved: That the draft Welfare Supplementary Payment (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 be approved.
Danny Kennedy: I will take a point of order from you shortly, Mr Nesbitt, but I want to deal with notification to extend the business hours of the plenary first.
Danny Kennedy: I have received notification from members of the Business Committee of a motion to extend the plenary sitting past 7.00 pm under Standing Order 10(3A). Resolved: That, in accordance with Standing Order 10(3A), the sitting on Monday 16 January 2017 be extended to no later than 1.00 am on Tuesday 17 January 2017. — [Mr Dickson.]
Danny Kennedy: Mr Nesbitt, you have a point of order.