SDLP: “Absolutely none of our MLAs will be putting their name to a petition of concern.”

There seems to have been a hardening the party line/whip in the last 24 hours. But even though Steven Agnew of the Greens has ruled out his support Sinn Fein have not given up hope of getting a backing for a petition of concern (they only need one more MLA to kill it)…

The Green Party’s Steven Agnew MLA said Sinn Fein approached him about it. He opposes the bill too, but also does not approve of using petitions of concern in this way, so refuses to be “the magic one” to trigger it.

Despite calling the bill “flawed”, the SDLP party line since Tuesday has been not to back the petition of concern.

Yesterday a spokesperson reiterated this and insisted no one would break ranks, saying: “Absolutely none of our MLAs will be putting their name to a petition of concern.”

Other parties including Alliance are supportive of the bill and so said they will not back the petition of concern either, and the indication yesterday was all three independent MLAs feel the same way.

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