Northern Ireland Assembly
Statement by the Assembly on a Plenary Sitting
statement given by the Assembly on a Plenary Sitting.
An Assembly spokesperson said:
“Following the request from the Secretary of State to the Speaker to call a sitting on Friday, 10 January 2020 it may be helpful to clarify the arrangements for calling a further sitting of the Assembly.
It is the Speaker’s responsibility to ensure that arrangements are in place for a plenary sitting to facilitate the appointment of an Executive by the next deadline of 13 January 2020 under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. Preparations have been made to allow a sitting of the Assembly to be called before the next deadline of 13 January 2020 under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.
It is not for the Speaker to react to political speculation and he has been clear that whether or not the deadline of 13 January can be met is a matter entirely for parties.
While the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has requested that the Speaker call a sitting of the Assembly, the process of doing so remains one for the Speaker to undertake in consultation with the parties.
In letters to party whips in July 2017, and again in December 2019, the Speaker made clear that he would not call any further sitting of the Assembly unless parties were to approach him to indicate that agreement had been reached to allow the business to be concluded successfully. Alternatively, 30 Members could request a sitting under Standing Order 11(1) and the Speaker would have no discretion but to summon Members to a sitting, as occurred in October 2019.
The Speaker recognises the significant efforts that are continuing to be made by all parties to enable a sitting of the Assembly to be held as soon as possible to elect a new Speaker and appoint Ministers. If sufficient agreement is reached for this to be achieved, it only requires parties to inform the Speaker and request him to commence the process to call a sitting.
The speed and timing of any sitting therefore depends entirely on when the Speaker hears positively from the parties.”
Latest News from
Northern Ireland Assembly
Assembly Business and Covid-1919/03/2020 15:33:00
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey MLA, yesterday commented on Assembly Business and Covid-19.
Speaker Marks Irish Language Week for the First Time in Parliament Buildings11/03/2020 13:43:00
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey MLA, yesterday welcomed young people from three local schools to Parliament Buildings as part of Seachtain na Gaelige (Irish Language Week) – one of the biggest annual international festivals celebrating Irish language and culture.
We Must Work Together to Deliver a Common Future, Says Speaker10/03/2020 12:15:00
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and President of the Assembly Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Alex Maskey MLA, yesterday hosted an event to mark Commonwealth Day in Parliament Buildings.
Assembly Speaker Undeterred by Threat09/03/2020 16:48:00
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey MLA recently commented on the threat of an imminent attack against him.
Education Committee Expresses Dismay Over Mismanagement of SEN Statementing Process05/03/2020 15:43:00
The Assembly’s Education Committee received a briefing yesterday from the Education Authority (EA) on the findings of its recent internal audit of the Special Educational Needs Statementing process.
Committee for Infrastructure Welcomes Updated E-Bike Legislation05/03/2020 12:15:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Infrastructure yesterday considered proposals from the Department for Infrastructure to bring E-Bike legislation in line with the rest of the UK and with Ireland.
Speaker Announces Initial Programme of Engagement Events for March03/03/2020 10:37:00
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Alex Maskey MLA has today announced a programme of events for March 2020, noting that community engagement will be one of his top priorities for this Assembly session.
Safety Under The Spotlight As Committee Visits Mot Centre30/01/2020 14:15:00
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Infrastructure yesterday visited the Boucher Road MOT test centre in Belfast.