DUP told not challenge the authority of the chair (then walk out)…

The Minister of Health was available in the Stormont Assembly chamber this morning for questions on Swine Flu and other pressing matters of public health. Yet the largest party, the DUP was not even present. Why not? Because they did not like the Speaker’s ruling at the beginning of the session on that torrent of points of order last week, in which as Roe Valley Socialist notes, “MLAs get paid £43,000 a year yet Poots is willing to pretty much put on the record that he is too lazy to listen to speeches and is then prepared to ask a question on a speech he has not heard”. (Mark Devenport has the details here) We don’t have the wording, but he viewed the various points of order as an egregious challenge to the authority of the Chair, and they were ordered to desist from such behaviour in future… So out they trooped after Willie McCrea… Not sure how this is going to play out this afternoon, since Sammy Wilson is due to take Environment questions… Keep watching this space…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty