Potential candidate signed a ‘confidentiality agreement’…

The culture of secrecy in Northern Ireland runs beyond the Catholic Church, the DUP (remember those automatic resignation letters), or the deadly code of Omerta the predominant culture of both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries… It also applies to potential candidates in the SDLP, according to the Reverend Gordon Graham, a retired Church of Ireland Minister, who wondered this morning on Good Morning Ulster (50 minute in) why he’d been asked to sign such an agreement before being eliminated early on grounds of insufficient background with the party… Some internal party critics complain that this did not disqualify Ferghal McKinney from taking the party’s nomination in Fermanagh South Tyrone. Margaret Ritchie was unopposed for her party’s candidacy in South Down. If elected, it raises the likelihood of her emulating her predecessor and resigning from the Assembly in order to avoid the accusation of ‘double jobbing’…

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