Tag Archives | UUP

Now the turn of Seamus Mallon at 80. Why he and Trimble were unable to unite over arms decommissioning remains unexplained

Following the tributes to John Hume on his 80th   birthday, the venerable SDLP deputy leader and  the initial deputy first minster Seamus Mallon has given a fascinating interview to the Irish News  for his own  80th. In passing I can’t help noticing the comparisons and contrasts with Sinn Fein. What are yours? On working with more…

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Sinn Fein lodge motion of no confidence in the Speaker

The Sinn Fein Chief Whip, Carál Ní Chuilin has announced that the party has lodged a vote of no confidence in the Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Newton. Outlining the party’s rationale she says; We have lodged our motion of no confidence in Speaker Robin Newton. The performance in the Assembly on 19th December was a more…

“The whole issue has, unfortunately, become party political…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Conservative MP, Laurence Robertson, who chairs the House of Commons Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs, asks some pertinent questions about the ‘crisis’ over the RHI scheme. What would [Arlene Foster’s] resignation achieve? Who would take over? Would this stabilise the workings of the Assembly and the Executive, or throw it more…

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What would the Assembly look like if weighted majority voting had been introduced?

What would the Assembly look like if weighted majority voting had been introduced? With the present RHI scandal throwing up another problem with the system there have been some calls for a ‘public conversation’ on future reform. In the (original) Assembly & Executive Reform (Assembly Opposition) Bill John McCallister  brought forward cross-community support and the more…

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What to look out for in 2017….

2016 was a fascinating year in politics with an election, Brexit and the US Presidential race. Now we are near the end of the year, I thought I would take a look ahead to see what else could surprise us in 2017. (This list is by no means definitive, if I have missed anything put more…

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SDLP Motion to Exclude Foster reaches 30 signatures

An SDLP motion to exclude Arlene Foster as First Minister for a period of 6 months has now reached 30 signatures and will be debated on Monday. The motion is backed by the Ulster Unionist Party, Alliance Party, Green Party, People Before Profit and Traditional Unionist Voice. If all MLAs attend, that gives the motion 41 votes more…

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DUP go on the offensive over RHI

The DUP have released the first email from the Whistle Blower over the RHI scheme; The Deputy Leader of the DUP, Nigel Dodds says this email vindicates the First Minister; There has been a quite scurrilous attempt to blame Arlene Foster for the RHI saga. The endlessly repeated claim has been that she failed to more…

“It is not just Stormont that has a Social Investment Fund.”

Newton Emerson in yesterday’s Irish News with some details on the other, less talked about, ‘social investment’ funds out there.  From the Irish News IT is not just Stormont that has a Social Investment Fund. Belfast City Council runs the Belfast Investment Fund and associated Local Investment Fund, with a combined pot of £31 million over three years more…

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Nesbitt urges Foster to consider her position

After last nights Spotlight programme the UUP leader, Mike Nesbitt has urged the First Minister, Arlene Foster to consider her position over the Heat Incentive Scheme. In his statement Nesbitt says; “The mismanagement of the Renewable Heat Incentive and consequent squandering of hundreds of millions of pounds is another scandal, up there with NAMA and more…

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Opposition to focus on Agriculture, Rural Schools and Poverty

Tomorrow is an Opposition Day at Stormont with the UUP/SDLP parties deciding to focus on EU funding for the Agricultural Sector, Rural Schools and Poverty. Here are the motions they are set to debate; Motion: EU Funding for the Agricultural Sector That this Assembly notes with concern the risks to multiple streams of funding posed more…

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Cllr Aaron Callan defects to the DUP

Limavady Councillor, Aaron Callan has defected from the UUP to the DUP.  He cites what he claims as the UUP ignoring his constituency and lack of confidence in his former leader as the main reasons. Speaking about his decision to leave he says; Some people may be asking why I have decided to leave the more…

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UUP Conference: Mike and Colum address the party faithful; opposition policies still sketchy #UUP16

FAMILIAR VENUE BUT SOME NEW FACES at the UUP conference today. SDLP leader Colum Eastwood’s was received with a standing ovation, while Mike Nesbitt set out his stall to convince critics why his chosen path was the correct one. Confident performances, but still lacking the detail of Opposition policies that will be developed.

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Amnesty NI poll displays attitudes of party voters towards abortion laws

An interesting poll conducted by Millward Brown for Amnesty International has surveyed the attitudes of voters of various parties towards abortion legislation in Northern Ireland with some noteworthy statistics Overall the poll found that attitudes in Northern Ireland as whole favour reform. Full details can be found here.  

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Stormont Holds Its First Ever Opposition Day

Stormont Today will be worth a watch to see a little bit of history. The Assembly held its first ever opposition day which meant that for around four hours MLAs debated topics selected by the opposition namely rural bank closures, public confidence after the NAMA revelations and Impact on Women of Changes to the State Pension. more…

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What will make for a good opposition at Stormont?

The two main government parties seem to have convinced a large chunk of the media that in order to be effective as an opposition, the UUP and the SDLP must form a government-in-waiting. It suits the DUP and Sinn Fein to paint it that way in order to cover their many splits on policy. Unfortunately, it more…

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Former UUP MLA defects to the DUP

Sam McBride in today’s News Letter has an interesting report noting the defection of former UUP MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Alastair Patterson to the DUP. Speaking about the decision Patterson said; “This move to join the DUP was a step I needed to make. At the Assembly election in May the people of more…

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UUP & SDLP unite to attack clamp down on opposition speaking rights

Alex Attwood and Robin Swann conducted the first act of co-ordination between the UUP and SDLP as the official opposition in the Assembly today over the DUP and Sinn Fein’s attempts to change rules around when the opposition can lead debates. Speaking jointly both MLAs said; In key votes on Assembly business, the DUP and more…