Another string to add to the First Minister’s bow.
By proceeding with today’s statement to the Assembly, without the consent of the deputy First Minister, the First Minister is arguably in breach of the Ministerial Code’s Pledge of Office. This states that she must:
“observe the joint nature of the office of First Minister and deputy First Minister.”
By making a speech unagreed by McGuinness the First Minister has undermined the jointery of the Executive office and the principle of equality that lies at the heart of that office. It has hit a Good Friday Agreement nerve:
— Ciarán Kearney (@ciaranjkearney) December 19, 2016
Mick is right to say that it was agreed by both Ministers to make a statement in principle. However if the content of the speech is not agreed, as it wasn’t, she did not have the authority to speak in that capacity.
It is indicative of a DUP approach of trying to ride roughshod over the other parties including Sinn Féin. How much more will they tolerate?
Colum Eastwood was right to say that Christmas would not save the First Minister.
Arlene Foster, it seems, now has time to reflect until January. Sinn Féin MLAs are still making clear that she needs to stand aside before an investigation
If she doesn’t Sinn Féin has to follow through with their ‘grave consequences’ warning.