NI Attorney General: “Citizens are entitled to have confidence in the administration of justice”

Conveniently, neither the Northern Ireland First or deputy First Ministers, nor either of their juniors, were available to the NI Assembly on Monday to answer Jim Allister’s pointed question on their continued confidence, or otherwise, in the “statutorily independent” NI Attorney General, John Larkin.  [As open and transparent as possible! – Ed]  There’s been no such reticence from others.  The NI Finance Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson,  has criticised the cost of the Attorney General’s contempt of court proceedings against the former Secretary of …

Read more…

“I am delighted to hear that the people of Northern Ireland are the happiest in the United Kingdom”

Some good news!  [Peter Robinson will be pleased – Ed]  Possibly…  According to the Office of National Statistics’ analysis of experimental subjective well-being data from the Annual Population Survey, April to September 2011, the people of Northern Ireland are the happiest in the United Kingdom.  In fact the, admittedly subjective, data reveals that the people of Northern Ireland had higher average ratings than the rest of the UK on the ‘life satisfaction’, ‘worthwhile’ and ‘happy yesterday’ questions (7.6, 7.8 and 7.5 out of …

Read more…

“makes Murdoch look about as impressive as wrinkly little ant waving a tiny placard”

The arranged arrest of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks today, she resigned on Friday, was met with suspicion by members of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, as the BBC report notes Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders, a member of the select committee, questioned the timing of the latest arrest. “In whose interest was it for this arrest to take place before Tuesday? Because if it does impede what we can ask, that’s not going to …

Read more…

“we have delivered Mr Adams to the required destination…”

Room for one more post to follow Brian’s coda on the appointment of Gerard Adams to the position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. The BBC reports today, the Shadow Leader of the House, Hilary Benn, has called for a change in the constitutional rules on MP’s resignations.  From the BBC report In the Commons on Thursday morning, Hilary Benn asked his opposite number if the government would consider changing the rules. He said: “Does the Leader …

Read more…

Back to Gerry 1

Just to add a note to Michael’s wrestle with the Gerry problem. Alas I was unable to answer the BBC’s very reasonable query this morning about G Adams who may have been the MP who never was and yet the MP who still remains. So they took the thorny problem to my friend and fellow townsman, Middle Temple barrister and strict legal constructionist Austen Morgan, no better man.  Gerry Adams may have to remain an MP if he does not …

Read more…

The resignation that never was…

I had suggested, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that the numerous reports of Gerry Adams’ “formal” resignation as the MP for west Belfast meant that he had applied to become a paid officer of the Crown. That was because an MP cannot simply resign.   A parliamentary seat is deemed to be a position of trust which can only be vacated by death, expulsion, or disqualification. But Sinn Féin sources evidently told Mark Devenport otherwise…   Although it’s worth noting that becoming a TD is not grounds for …

Read more…

Gerry Adams applies to become paid officer of the Crown…

Or, as the iol report notes A party spokesman said the process had now started and confirmed Mr Adams had written to Westminster to formally resign. Here’s Mick’s post in November on the republican’s dilemma. Although it’s worth noting from the House of Commons factsheet [pdf file] that he only has to apply to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for that “office of profit under the Crown”… From the factsheet [pdf file] Current procedure A Member wishing to resign applies to the Chancellor …

Read more…

Apparently, T-shirts have already been printed…

For sheer entertainment value I feel obliged to share this account of the clash between Conservative MP, Mark Pritchard, and Mr Speaker… Mark Pritchard, a Tory MP described “as mild mannered” in the way that serial killers are usually described as mild-mannered until the lampshades made of skin are found in the basement, apparently impeded the movement of Speaker Bercow, who was progressing through the palace like a small medieval king mounted on a skateboard. “The courtesy of the house is …

Read more…

“MPs set to cut Sinn Fein money”

Mark Devenport is back in the office.  And he’s pointing to a prediction by Newsnight’s Michael Crick following the Speaker of the House of Commons’ response to a point of order yesterday on the issue of the payment of allowances expenses to MPs who do not take their seats.  Here’s what Michael Crick posted The Speaker John Bercow today announced he would allow MPs a debate and vote on the Sinn Fein allowances, a subject of considerable anger at Westminster. This …

Read more…