According to Dawn Purvis, the DUP are shaping up to use a ‘Petition of Concern’ to sink her bill that is designed to prevent double-jobbing (where one individual holds the post of a Councillor and an MLA at the same time). The Local Government (Disqualification) Bill has, it seems, passed all-but-one of the assembly’s legislative proces stages.
As Purvis says:
“The Petition of Concern is a special provision designed to ensure that motions and legislation passed by the Assembly do not disadvantage one community over another. It is not meant to be used to protect the personal interests of political parties or political leaders.”
Given that it has wide-ranging cross-party support (only the DUP and the Alliance oppose it) this would, surely, be an odd use of a provision that was designed to stop the imposition of discriminatory communal measures?