Code to reign in ministers?

According to a paper obtained by the BBC, the Governments have laid out new proposals that would allow a limited form of censure by the Assembly for individual ministers. It also contains a number of safeguard measures for continuity in the future running of the Assembly by repealing the suspension legislation the Northern Ireland Act of 2000, and allowing individual ministers the right to attend meetings of cross border bodies. So far we’ve not seen any party comment.

  • peteb


    To follow on from the thread on Ruth Dudley Edwards’ article, it looks like the governments have a ‘canary’ as well.

  • AndrewD


    But I hope that with all these proposed changes that people and Parties don’t forget about the Paramilitaries.

  • Henry94

    It looks like a fair plan. Let’s get on with it. A review in 2008 is a good idea too. Let’s see how things work in reality and then discuss it again.

  • Davros

    I like the plan and I like the idea of the Pledge to attend. Hopefully that will be included in the candidacy papers for elections to Westminster.

  • Henry94


    They won’t let people attend unless they take an oath to the queen. Are you suggesting that canditates be forced to pledge to take an oath. That is imposible. You can’t force someone to take an oath.

    So you could have MPs turning up in accordance with the pledge and refusing the oath. What happens then?

  • Alan

    *The Irish Government and the parties would support the establishment of an independent consultative forum appointed by Stormont and Dublin representative of civil society*

    This is an interesting one. I presume that it is SF’s North South Civic Forum. Will the Assembly parties actually support the Civic Forum this time both financially and in refering issues to them? Will they accept that issues arising from the Forum, if critical of party positions, must be considered on an equable basis?

  • willowfield

    The Civic Forum should be scrapped. A waste of time and money. A total irrelevance.

  • Davros

    Henry… they wouldn’t ever decommission, they wouldn’t ever sit in Stormont.

    Times change. SF has now accepted that NI is a legitimate entity and part of the UK.

    If Unionists are to be “forced” to pledge to attend, then Westminster MPs should be “forced” to do what they are paid to do – represent their constituents at Westminster. I doubt if their distaste at taking an Oath to the Queen could be any greater than Unionist distaste at working with the Old Bailey Bomber.