“Sinn Féin is committed to ending dual-mandates within our party..”

Sinn Féin councillor Conor Maskey has criticised the DUP MEP Diane Dodds for double-jobbing – she’s still a councillor apparently – “Sinn Féin is committed to ending dual-mandates within our party..”. Meanwhile the party has selected [unopposed] Northern Ireland Executive Junior Minister, Gerry Kelly, MLA, as their candidate for north Belfast in the next general election. Do they think the new restrictions on multiple mandates won’t apply to them? Slugger reader asks Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness: ‘well which are you going to stand down from?’

, ,

  • kensei

    Presumably sitting MLAs would be allowed to run for an election to Westminster ; requiring them to resign first would seem verly draconian. If we take that assumption, what’s the punishment in the event of them not resigning?

    Not being allowed to take up their Wesminster seat?

  • Brendan,Belfast

    “DUP MEP Diane Dodds for double-jobbing – she’s still a councillor apparently”

    Apparently? That’s easy checked – she is.

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Them.

    Sinn Féin should really get some people into the House of Lords.
    They would not be so noticable for not turning up as a lot of the Lords just turn up for the perks and a comfy snooze on the luxurious benchs.
    Sounds like a suitable bolt hole for many of NIs politicians.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    SF should seek an opt out – you can hardly call occassional visits overseas to London double-jobbing.

  • DR

    Three points on double jobbing…

    All MLAs who stand for westminister should give a committment that they will stand down from Stormont at or before the next assembly election, preferably immediately after election as co-option is available at Stormont,

    Secondly, appart from MPs there are two noble members of the upper house sitting in Stormont, clarification is need on whether this counts as double jobbing, the Lords is possibly as important as the commons when it comes to have influence on legislation rather than power over it, as can be seen with the recent irish sea passport requirements (neither DUP lords took part in blocknig this I beleive but stand to be corrected)

    Thirdly councillors are currently a part time job with most having other full time employment, this employment may include being an MLA or MP, or even MEP, not technically double jobbing as being a cllr is not actually a “job” yet. But it does raise issues of conflicts of interest if representing different areas or making ministerial decisions effecting councils,
    this will change with the new councils when the job becomes full time, however a problem may arise if elections for both occur on the same day, should a candidate be forced to choose, ie. a talented councillor stands for MLA. is there is a case of allowing co-option if they are elected to both positions?

  • Garza

    Then Sammy why do they run at all? One rule for SF, one rule for the rest of us.

    I could understand SF running for Westminister elections before GTA as they was no local government in place in NI. But now? Its now like SF MP’s are going to implement any policy. Fianna Fail have stated that if/when they run here they are not going to contest WM elections as want to be an all Ireland part and an all British Isles party.

  • JoMax

    Sammy it was etc.

    Yawn, you keep on making this point. It would be more interesting to explore the mentality in Sinn Fein that makes so many of their top dogs so anxious to get the letters ‘MP’ after their name and entree to an “overseas legislature” in your own terms. Always remember graffito in Newry after Bobby Sands died in 1981: “Rt. Hon. Bobby Sands MP” which wasn’t actually correct.

    Irishmen who were as great and effective as any of our current crop-O’Connell, Parnell, Davitt-didn’t feel themselves compromised by sitting in Parliament, though admittedly there was no Leinster House nor Stormont at the time.

    The First Past the Post system for the 18 NI Westminster is grotesquely unsuited for the situation, where politics is trench warfare. In 2005 DUP got 9 seats on a third of the vote. We could be getting back to the situation pre 1966 when only unionist second-stringers sat in Westminster. Alternatively, parties other than the SDLP could now start loking for multi-seat PR, say 4 for Belfast, 4 for Antrim, 5 for Armagh/Down, 5 for West of the Bann.

    Hume could have got multi-seat constituencies when SDLP influence was at its height in the 1980s, but couldn’t be bothered. Mistake.

    Overall, roll on the day when no parties feel particularly obliged to stand for Westminster elections.

  • fin

    Is it possible for someone to be a TD and a MP?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JoMax, Garza,

    re.”It would be more interesting to explore the mentality in Sinn Fein that makes so many of their top dogs so anxious to get the letters ‘MP’ after their name and entree to an “overseas legislature” in your own terms. ”

    I presume the reason politicans of any sort like letters such as MP or TD after their name is because it advertises their electoral success and gives legitimacy to their claims to speak on behalf of the population. I presume from a Republican perspective having the letters MP after your name has the added benefit of reminding everyone of the inappropriateness of Westminster as an overseas parliament given their advance warning to their consituents that they intend to ignore the place.

  • Garza

    Sammy however shouldn’t an ideal Republican refuse to recieve money from an inappropriate overseas parliament if a SF MP is such an emblem of Republicanism.

    Last I heard the people who vote SF do not vote for them to get a salary from the Queen.

    If they want to talk the talk , they gotta walk the walk.

  • Brian Walker

    Tricky one for Adams. As a single MP under first past the post, his election is like a referendum on the individual, uncomplicated by STV multi members. Good for the charisma! But if he quits Stormont, it’s a clear field for McGuinness. Would that be a problem for him? For McGuinness, I guess Stormont is the no brainer. The big thing though is that the end of double jobbing should open up the field both within and between parties. In mid Ulster, there’d be a bit of a contest wouldn’t there, with pressure to mount single designation candidates?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    re. “Last I heard the people who vote SF do not vote for them to get a salary from the Queen.”

    I hope you didnt involve yourself in too much expense in your canvassing/polling of opinion to arrive at your conclusions. As the excellent work of Robbo indicates in squeezing 1 billion out of the hard up El Gordo, we Irish are experts in exctracting money form those who claim an interest in our country – though to be fair those with a guilty conscience are understandably quite an easy touch.

  • alan56

    Is it true that Conall McDevitt is seeking the nomination in south belfast? will he be double jobbing? !!

  • Garza

    Regardless if SF should be bothered running for MP they shouldn’t be double-jobbing, no-one should. Sinn Fein shouldn’t get special treatment.

    If I were Gerry I would start running in the South, his party is getting its arse kciked down there.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re. “Sinn Fein shouldn’t get special treatment”

    Quire right. It should apply to all those who dont take up their overseas (or Stormo) seats, irrespective of which party they belong to.

  • Mick Fealty

    I doubt they will get special treatment Garza. Beyond Sammy’s extraordinary pleading, there’s no case for it. Brown can’t move that way because of the tactical grip the DUP have on him.

    Setting aside anything to do with local interests, the Tories will be minded to break decisively with the past. The Hoon money will stay, but why give SF a bye ball on a self imposed manifesto committment.

    Having said that, there are relatively uncontroversial transitions available to them where the party has sitting MPs (though if GK got elected, that could prove problematic), in the short term at least.

    They can use it in the way southern parties use the Seanad: ie giving junior members a public platform before establishing themselves in the Assembly.

  • fair_deal


    “Is it possible for someone to be a TD and a MP?”

    AFAIK No on the basis you can’t serve two masters

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I can think of one or two local MPs who seem to serve God AND mammon…

  • igor

    Glad to see that SF are committed to ending double jobbing. But can I point out that this will simply maximise the flow of expenses into party coffers on all sides as none of the cost saving benefits of joint offices will be realised.