“Damaging fudge” legislation delayed

Not much information on this yet but, having granted accelerated passage for the legislation to retrospectively allow the appointment of FOUR Victims Commissioners, UTV reports that the Assembly was suspended today when the Executive held back the legislation on the setting up of a Victims Commission – which was scheduled to be debated. From the brief UTV report

The new laws were being fast-tracked, but junior minister Jeffrey Donaldson told the Assembly members a debate would not take place as scheduled.

Adds More from the BBC report

No reason was given but it is understood Sinn Fein are unhappy with a series of proposed amendments which would allow for the appointment of a Chief Commissioner. A Sinn Fein source said agreement had already been reached between the parties that the four commissioners would decide on a way forward through consensus. Mr Donaldson said the bill would be discussed at the business committee.

Although it’s worth noting that, rather than a Chief Commissioner, on TalkBack the Alliance Party’s David Ford only referred to an amendment introducing weighted majority voting into the Commission’s decision making process. Update Sinn Féin’s Francie Molloy has issued a statement

“Sinn Féin reached an agreement with the DUP before Christmas on the way to proceed on the issue of a Victims Commission. “It meant four Commissioners of equal status – reaching decisions through consensus. “That was the agreement – that was what Ian Paisley publicly committed his party to doing. That is what the legislation needs to deliver. Amendments which subvert that agreement are not acceptable.”