Political news

Assembly recall next Monday in bid to elect speaker, first and deputy first ministers branded a 'Sinn Féin stunt' by DUP

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey said in a letter that the purpose of the recall was to elect a speaker, deputy speakers and to appoint a first minister and deputy first minister. Picture by Hugh Russell

Sinn Féin has secured enough signatures to recall the Northern Ireland Assembly next week in another bid to nominate a speaker.

It has been confirmed that having secured the required 30 signatures, the Assembly will meet on Monday.

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey said in a letter that the purpose of the recall was to elect a speaker, deputy speakers and to appoint a first minister and deputy first minister.

Speaking to the media, Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Féin’s vice president, said: “It’s really important that we recall the Assembly and that we attempt, once again, to form an Executive and get the Assembly up and running to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, to deal with fixing our health service and every other issue that is pending.

“I am glad that other parties have supported our recall petition because this means we have another opportunity to elect a speaker, put ministers into posts and get down business and start to deliver for the public.

“That is the democratic outworking of the election and that must be respected.

“I’m glad all of us who want to make politics work will be in that Chamber on Monday and will debate this.

“I hope that we can get to a point where we can actually elect people into post.”

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described the Sinn Féin recall petition for an Assembly sitting to elect a speaker as a “stunt”.

“When you consider that for three long years, and on a number of occasions during that period when this Assembly was recalled to elect a speaker, that Sinn Fein on each occasion absented themselves from those proceedings,” he said.

“Most people out there will take with a pinch of salt Sinn Fein’s new-found determination to restore working institutions that they abandoned for three years.

“And if they think that pulling a stunt like this next Monday is going to change things then they really don’t understand unionism and our determination to stand our ground until we get the decisive action that is required to move us all forward.”

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