SDLP Motion to Exclude Foster reaches 30 signatures

An SDLP motion to exclude Arlene Foster as First Minister for a period of 6 months has now reached 30 signatures and will be debated on Monday.

The motion is backed by the Ulster Unionist Party, Alliance Party, Green Party, People Before Profit and Traditional Unionist Voice.

If all MLAs attend, that gives the motion 41 votes in favour, that is a majority over the 36 DUP MLAs.  The Speaker Robin Newton cannot vote and Bell is shaky at the moment.

Some key questions ahead;

Will Sinn Fein back this motion? The party has some difficulty here as they struggle to keep the ship afloat whilst trying to be seen to hold the DUP to account. Although  the party president Gerry Adams made some unfavourable comments about the DUP today.

Will the DUP sign a petition of concern? That is almost certain to happen if Sinn Fein agree to back or abstain on the motion.

How will Jonathan Bell vote? If he turns up and votes non confidence in the First Minister, this could be a trigger to expel him from the DUP.