Only (as far as I am aware) the NI Conservatives have commented on this– it will be interesting to see what the other more directly affected parties make of it; probably busily sweeping it under the carpet as we speak…
Anyway… the Committee on Standards for Public Life released its annual report (pdf) today and it made the following points about dual mandates:
39. In the Committee’s twelfth report we made a recommendation that the practice of permitting a Westminster MP to sit simultaneously in a devolved legislature should be brought to an end, ideally by the time of the time of the election to the three devolved legislatures held in May 2011. This recommendation was primarily directed at the situation in Northern Ireland where in the last Parliament sixteen out of eighteen MPs representing Northern Ireland constituencies were also members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLAs).
40. Following the publication of our report, a number of dual mandate MPs indicated that they would either give up their seat if elected to Westminster in May 2010 or not stand for re-election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011. But there are still nine Northern Ireland MPs (50 per cent) who have dual mandates, two of whom are also ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive.
41. The Committee continues to question whether it is possible to sit in two national legislatures simultaneously
Obviously it is perfectly possible to theoretically “sit” in both legislatures; the more pertinent question is whether it is possible to deliver the best service for both your electorates whilst doing so.
A UK Unionist and also confirmed devo-sceptic.
I believe the creation of devolved “governments” in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, along with the corresponding unsolved “English Question”, has weakened that Union.
The present-day Conservative Party would be the national party which would come closest to representing my political beliefs. I have previously belonged to the “Friends of the Conservatives” and the UUP but am no longer connected with either party.
Outside of my Unionism, I consider myself as an economic libertarian, social liberal and secularist- e’g. am pro-choice, anti-schools segregated on the grounds of (parents’) religious beliefs.
Very suspicious of NI’s Human Rights’ Oligarchy (in particular the NIHRC) and hope to be writing on this topic, as well as wider UK and European political issues.