Acting First Minister’s First Question

A couple of short clips of events in the Northern Ireland Assembly today, via BBC NI’s Stormont Live. Below the fold Speaker Will Hay informs the Assembly that DETI Minister Arlene Foster is to act-up as the interim NI First Minister. And here is the acting NI First Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, making her first short statement and answering her first question in the role – there a slight glitch in the recording at the end, but listen out for the insufficiently independent departmental solicitor’s opinion. Adds Hansard record here

Earlier in the NI Assembly

Adds From the Hansard record

The Acting First Minister: I thank the Member for her question. First of all, the Departmental Solicitor’s Office has already considered the allegations made in the ‘Spotlight’ programme and advised Peter Robinson that he was not in breach of the ministerial code, the Pledge of Office, the ministerial code of conduct or the seven principles of public life. It is important to say that first of all. As well as that, Peter Robinson has now written to the Chairpersons of the Committees on Standards and Privileges in both Westminster and the Assembly to ask them to conduct a full investigation into the allegation made by the BBC ‘Spotlight’ programme. It needs to be made very clear that the process that the First Minister has asked to be initiated involving senior counsel is not intended to be an alternative to other processes that may, and undoubtedly will, be carried out.

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  • Will Hay? I was expecting an hilarious sketch involving fire hoses and two mad-cap stooges.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Was Martin ever up for the priesthood?

  • Paul

    It seems to me that the DUP have done a very neat work in all of this.

  • Harry J

    god between that sinn feiner and d-d-d-d-danny kennedy i thought Arelenes six weeks were going to be finisihed

  • Scaramoosh

    The DUP play the hardman ticket; their only sure way of holding the TUV at bay come th election.

    The central foundation of that ticket is no P&J this side of the election.

    Once again the Shinners are going to be strung along like fools.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    I watched the video. With sinn fein asking for an inquiry into the robinson mess…I thought…Iris had a young lover and maybe some illegality about MONEY….. Big deal…it will sort itself out. How different for sinn fein remaining relatively silent about gerry adams and possible illegality about CHILDREN. Shows where their priorities are.

    Oscar…your comment was funny! I thought the same thing…lol

  • Stephen Blacker

    By far the best question asked was by Dawn Purvis MLA, she asked,

    “Can the Minister clarify please whether the actions taken by her party today are in fact in the best interests of her office, of this Assembly, and the governing institutions of Northern Ireland which belong to the people of Northern Ireland and are not the possession of any party either inside this Chamber or outside this Chamber and that these actions by her party are not focused on simply preserving whatever is left of her parties electoral fortunes?”

    I thought this was a very good question and very probing.

  • joeCanuck

    Stephen,

    Don’t leave us hanging; what was the answer?

  • RepublicanStones

    Surely an ex-UUP head understudying for Punt in the FM’s chair will rankle a few feathers within the DUPers.

  • Harry J

    “Can the Minister clarify please whether the actions taken by her party today are in fact in the best interests of her office, of this Assembly, and the governing institutions of Northern Ireland which belong to the people of Northern Ireland and are not the possession of any party either inside this Chamber or outside this Chamber and that these actions by her party are not focused on simply preserving whatever is left of her parties electoral fortunes?”

    go back to the UVF

  • Alias

    “I thought this was a very good question and very probing.”

    An impartial observer might reject it as a leading question. 😉

  • ding dong

    Quick question – where were the here heres from the assembled DUP cheerleaders when Queen Arlene asserted Peter Robinson would be cleared – tony silence had the back benchers not read the script?

    Or possibly they actually didn’t agree maybe they all believe he will fall??

    never Never Never – ok then maybe!

  • Stephen Blacker

    Sorry Joe Canuck,

    Here is Mrs. Foster’s answer,

    “I believe Peter has acted with complete and entire integrity, his decision to temporarily step a side in his duties as First Minister was in part to clear his name once and for all of the allegations of impropriety, and in doing so he will submit himself to full scrutiny of any investigation that this Assembly may instigate although he has instigated one himself in respect to this Assembly, but he has also stated that he will review his position if any inquiry or investagation find that the allegation has some substance to the integrity of this Assembly so that we can move forward and this Assembly can be protected very clearly. Now I dont know how much more open this house expects Peter Robinson to be he has done everything that has been asked of him and he will submit himself to all of the inquiries that come forward and do you know why, because he has nothing to answer for, and I believe that firmly in my heart and I know that this party believes that as well.”

  • Stephen Blacker

    Harry J.

    I am not in the UVF.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks, Stephen.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Alias,

    It is a bit leading but, in my opinion, it was one of the better questions asked.

  • joeCanuck

    Pompei’s husband must be above suspicion too, of course, lest the professions of undying loyalty become inoperative due to machinations in the dark recesses of F.P. Temples.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Fuck me, the most important piece of information in the clip wasn’t given any real prominence in the blog post.

    I despair.

  • Pete Baker

    None of us are infallible, Gonzo.

    Nor do we claim to be.

    But if it’s in the clip, it’s in the post.

    If you want to highlight something in the clip, go ahead.