“Would the [deputy] First Minister explain the difference..”

With MLAs questions to Northern Ireland Executive Ministers having to be submitted in advance, when it’s time to appear in the NI Assembly they always have the option of deploying the dead-bat approach of reading the answer provided to them. It’s the supplementary questions that can cause problems for any minister with a less than comprehensive grasp of their brief. Here’s UUP MLA Ken Robinson in today’s session lobbing a perfectly aimed supplementary at the NI deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA. Watch for the moment SF MLA Barry McElduff is despatched from the backbenches to retrieve, from someone off-camera, a vital piece of paper.. with the an answer written on it.

And here’s the lead up to that supplementary from the relevant submitted question. [I’ll add a link to Hansard when available]