“if somebody makes extremely, extremely, aggressive and abusive, or indeed insulting remarks”

On last night’s Stormont Today, basement dwellers Jim Fitzpatrick and Mark Devenport discussed the NI Assembly’s agreed new code of conduct for MLAs. Hansard record of the debate here. Below the fold, after a blast of righteous indignation from an Ian Paisley Jnr selectively quoting from Interim Commissioner Tom Frawley’s report on his use of public funds, the Chairman of the NI Assembly Committee on Standards and Privileges, the SDLP’s Carmel Hanna, explains the new measures. And, on the potential “can of worms” of regulating MLAs speech outside the Assembly chamber, she claims that the new clause “may come into play if somebody makes extremely, extremely, aggressive and abusive, or indeed insulting remarks”. Hmm.. that won’t necessarily be required before anyone makes a complaint. And I’d be more re-assured if there was greater evidence of MLAs on that particular committee being prepared to leave their party political affliations outside the room.

Ian Paisley Jnr giving forth in the Assembly chamber, followed by Carmel Hanna in the studio.