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No comment from DUP on Sinn Féin motion to remove speaker

Assembly speaker Robin Newton will face a motion of no confidence brought by Sinn Féin
John Monaghan

THE DUP had still not responded on Sunday night to a planned attempt by Sinn Féin to remove Robin Newton as speaker of the assembly.

Party chairman Declan Kearney announced on Friday night that it would be lodging a motion of no confidence when the assembly returns next week.

Calling on him to immediately resign his post, he said revelations in The Irish News that Mr Newton lobbied for financial support for Charter NI from a Policing Board fund “confirm that his position is untenable”.

He has already apologised to MLAs for not declaring that he had offered advice to Charter NI during constituency work before ruling against an urgent debate on its funding.

Mr Kearney also said the speaker's performance during a chaotic assembly session on the RHI scandal before Christmas “totally compromised the neutrality of that office”.

Mr Newton, a DUP assembly member, defended his actions in allowing a statement by Arlene Foster without approval from Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, saying he was left in a difficult position by ministers.

Opposition had parties walked out of the chamber in protest.

The DUP did not respond to a request for comment on the motion on Sunday.

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