Between all the spin and counterspin on Jim Wells’s resignation, this from Tom Kelly makes an important point:
…what constitutes good governance during an election? No serving Minister should be allowed to continue in office whilst contesting an election not associated with the Assembly and even then purdah should be strictly enforced.
It is ridiculous that special advisors working in elections or contesting them have to stand aside from their posts for the duration of an election but a Minister does not.
Neither Mr Wells nor indeed his party colleague, Mr Bell should have remained in ministerial office whilst they pursue election to another forum. This is something that the Assembly Standards and Privileges Committee, its Commissioner and the Electoral Commission should rectify.
As a mere candidate on the far right of a right wing party the comments of Mr Wells are of little significance but as a serving Health Minister, they are hugely significant. [Emphasis added]