According to this BBC report, which notes the Social Development minister’s description of the criticism of her statement in the Assembly yesterday – “This whole issue about the legal advice is a DUP fabrication and a smokescreen” – the Finance minister, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson, has clarified his point of order in the Assembly
He said she “rushed to make her statement without keeping the conditions set out by the executive”. “Before she made her statement the minister was warned by officials she would be breaching the ministerial code but chose to dismiss the advice,” he said. “Under the new ministerial code every minister is bound by executive decisions and must act in accordance with those decisions. “The ministerial code has statutory authority. The DSD minister has therefore breached the ministerial code.”
But, side-briefing or not, and in the still unfolding aftermath of those events, was there an executive decision to be bound by?Adds It’s probably also worth noting the death of former UDA leader Sammy Duddy – since he was one of those employed under the CTI scheme.