“The Committee continues to question whether it is possible to sit in two national legislatures simultaneously”

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:

Devolved legislatures

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.

 

  • OneNI

    Robertson (in Ulster Tory press release) has obviously been given the nod by the party at Westminster.
    Hard to know the impact of not having the ‘big beast’ MPs leading the charge at the Assembly elections. Evidence in Lagan Valley is that it actually helped the DUP not to have a big name.
    My guess is that the local parties wont agree anything and the Conservatives will legislate.
    Interesting question is what would happen. For example would Alistair McDonnell stand down? – then again he mighten have a seat to stand for!

  • Neil

    Anyone Catch Gregory Campbell on Nolan? Most amusing. His defence tactic of hitting Nolan with ‘Let’s not forget you work on Radio Ulster and 5 Live, both of which you get paid for’ worked fantastically. Nolan was so busy stifling his laughter he could barely respond.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Perhaps a ‘you can sit in two legislatures if you want but you’ll only get paid for one’ type approach might lead to a lot less dual mandates.

  • Tochais Síoraí,

    I think they can only claim one salary now but still double expenses.

    This from the Tele was interesting, Nigel Dodds “welcomed” the recommendations! Did he have a word with Sammy and Gregory first?!

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/call-to-ban-northern-ireland-mps-from-taking-seats-in-stormont-16050563.html

  • Frustrated Democrat

    The problem with politics in Northern Ireland is a complete dearth of capable politicians at the local levels. This is why the parties use double or treble mandates.

    It begs the obvious question how do we get capable people involved in politics here? If the parties here don’t go on a recruitment drive and disband family dynasties then they are failing the people of Northern Ireland.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Perhaps a ‘you can sit in two legislatures if you want but you’ll only get paid for one’ type approach might lead to a lot less dual mandates.

    That would also have to apply to those that don’t sit on one of the legislatures they are elected for … seems only fair play to avoid such loopholes.