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Northern Ireland Assembly

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th July 2013.

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Photo of Lord Kilclooney Lord Kilclooney Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have considered taking steps to enable the creation of an official opposition within the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Photo of Baroness Randerson Baroness Randerson Lords Spokesperson (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The Government has been clear that we think there would be benefits in the Assembly moving to a system which permitted a more normal system which included a formal Opposition. In August 2012, we asked for views on how this might be achieved in the Consultation on Measures to Improve the Operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Responses to that consultation demonstrate that no consensus on major changes to the current system exists at this time.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has within its remit the ability to provide for some elements of an opposition, for example in relation to speaking rights and funding.

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