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‘Test' for Claire Sugden as assembly votes on RHI scandal

There will be interest in how Claire Sugden votes on calls for Arlene Foster to step aside. Picture by Ann McManus

JUSTICE minister Claire Sugden will face a "test" on Monday when the motion of no confidence in the first minister comes before the assembly, it has been claimed.

The independent unionist has yet to make any comment on the RHI scandal and calls for Arlene Foster to step aside as first minister.

The East Derry MLA was appointed jointly by the first and deputy first ministers in May after Alliance declined the justice minister's role.

Ms Sugden did not respond to calls from The Irish News on Sunday amid speculation about how she will vote.

When the assembly voted in February to close the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive, Ms Sugden was not present for the debate.

Alliance South Belfast MLA Kellie Armstrong claimed Monday's vote is a test for the justice minister.

"Will she stand up for the people of Northern Ireland, for their best interests and defend the integrity of the institutions?" she said.

"When in opposition, she had a lot to say in previous scandals about these very same parties. It will be interesting to see whether she acts in line with that in the vote tomorrow."

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