Bell to sound time on UUP/PUP pact?

The BBC NI news suggested that some time today the assembly speaker Eileen Bell may, finally, rule on the vailidty, or otherwise, of the UUP/PUP pact.. I did say it might take a while.. Meanwhile, UUP MLA, Esmond Birnie has stated that he believes the most recent IMC report “renders the UUP’s pact with the PUP untenable.” Update BBC report – “The assembly speaker Eileen Bell has ruled that the assembly link between the UUP and the PUP is contrary to the rules of the assembly.” [Not much to review then? – Ed] More Responses hereQuote from the BBC report

“I am someone who has said previously that the UUP pact with the PUP would always have to be conditional and subject to rigorous evaluation in the light of events.

“The litany of events over the last four months has been deeply disturbing,” Mr Birnie said.

“As it stands at the moment I believe that this report renders the UUP’s pact with the PUP untenable, and I await the speaker’s ruling on whether that pact is permissible under the Rules of the Assembly in any case”.

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  • Elvis Parker

    If he finds it that ‘untenable’ why doesnt Esmond just resign from the Assembly Group – thereby making the link worthless?

  • pith

    Indeed. There is a time for opposition from within but it is not when your party hooks up with parties inextricably linked to paramilitary organisations. That’s the time to get out.

  • unionist

    lets not forget Esmond agreed to the link.

    If he has changed his opinion he is entitled to put his view to the assembly group.

  • From BBC: The assembly speaker Eileen Bell has ruled that the assembly link between the UUP and the PUP is contrary to the rules of the assembly

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5335004.stm

  • pith

    And we should remember that the pact was established exclusively in pursuit of the noble cause of bringing an end to paramilitarism and had nothing to do with ministerial positions etc, getting one over on the other side etc. Let us then hope that pact will survive Mrs Bell’s fixation with the smaller picture.

  • Pete Baker

    And we should remember that the pact was established exclusively in pursuit of the noble cause of bringing an end to paramilitarism and had nothing to do with ministerial positions etc, getting one over on the other side etc.

    I take it that’s intended to be sarcastic, pith?

  • heres hoping

    being serious for a moment about this one if the UU sat on their hands and at times provided political cover to the unionist paramiltaries for over thirty years they are hardly going to break a sweat now trying to persuade them to pack up.

  • pith

    Pete,

    Yes it is. We used to be told that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour. What does that make me? (Don’t forget to include lots of full stops in the answer otherwise it will come up all asterixes)

  • Nationalist

    What would be the reaction if the SDLP decide to put a few MLA’s into the Sinn Fein camp in order to try and entice a more sympathetic response from them towards the PSNI etc. and at the same time ensure that the Nationalist community were to gain an extra seat at the round table?

    Does anyone know what the effect of 1, 2 or 4 SDLP members joining forces with Sinn Fein would have, could the SDLP afford to give up any number of MLA’s without losing their own quota of seats at the table in order to gain an advantage for Nationalism?

    Would the Ulster Unionists see this as fair or does the rules not allow for anyone else to adopt their tatics and form alliances?

    Any thoughts out there?