Accountability?

The First and Deputy First Ministers have suggested that having to appear before the Assembly to answer questions is too much, and that once a month would be better (in contrast to every other First and Prime Minister in the UK). Although, during this assembly, the FM and DFM have been taking it time about, so they would, one assumes, now each answer questions only once every two months.

  • iluvni

    They should be there every week answering questions, never mind asking for a reduction.

  • Nomad

    Who is really bothered about accountable democracy anyway? ..

  • Aerial Liquitab

    Nice to see Peter Robinson and his new best friend Martin McGuiness working hard for we the public.

  • pith

    As an indicator of Robinson’s intellectuall inadequacy this beats them all. He was always good at the easy business of asking questions. Answering them is a bit more difficult as any good estate agent would admit. I still think he is at his most natural in photo number 42 of the Belfast Telegraph ‘Troubles archive’.

  • pith

    The spelling mistake is sympathetic.

  • slug

    I think Peter is very good at answering questions. I don’t know what is behind this.

    When Mrs T and John Major were PMs they went to PMQs twice a week. Tony Blair reduced it to once a week and that was consistent with the widespread view he had a low regard for Parliament

    Same for the FM and DFM? Do this indicate a contempt for the Assembly?

  • Hbf

    Does anybody know if there is more to their argument? Perhaps they feel that they are overworked? Maybe that’s why they want their junior ministers to take the questions for them.

    If they can’t justify their argument then the procedure committee should reject the preposal, and I don’t think that insisting that their department needs no more questions than any other is fair – I agree with mark Durkan on that.

    I think a less one-sided argument is the one about letting their junior ministers take questions for them. But we can’t really talk about that until we know exactly what the proposal is.

  • Danny O’Connor

    OFMDFM have many responsibilities within their department ,the committee (I am not sure of the current status)because of this used to be the largest committee in the assembly.
    As joint chairmen of the executive they should have to account for this also – especially now.

  • Pam

    If they are citing that fact that every other Minister answers questions every 4 weeks, then the argument doesn’t stack up. The Prime Minister answers questions each week and he doesn’t have a Department of his own to run.

    If its a case of diary organising and them wanting to free up time, then I’d be sympathetic to say them answering questions for an hour once a month rather than half an hour twice a month, if it frees their diaries a bit. They could even share a QT with a junior Minister and get them to answer questions on their areas, in the same way as at NI questions, Goggins will answer security questions etc.

  • William

    Pam….it’s nothing to do with ‘freeing up time’, ‘arranging diaries’; it is all to do with McGuinness and Robinson having a contempt for the Assembly and not wishing to be questioned in the House. With two Ministers, it would mean that Robbo and the 2 I/c would actually only appear once every two months, as they alternate their appearances at present.

  • fair_deal

    Don’t see the sense of this proposal at all.

  • spadesaspade

    No one should hold their breath waiting for mc guiness to supply answers.
    Republicans have been asking questions for years as to what really went on with out success.
    Send marti a hearing aid for xmas.