So yesterday was the “New Stormont” Government’s day in the sun…

So, if Mike Nesbitt and Colum Eastwood had their days in the sun over the previous two weeks, yesterday was the government parties’ turn. Alan has already covered some of the (in my view, necessary) acts of generosity between the two parties. As I argued with Gerry Kelly during the back end of Radio Ulster’s election coverage two parties in coalition is infinitely easier to manage than five (methinks Gerry protested too much at the time). In Health Sinn Fein … Read more

#skodashuffle Executive Ministers announced

We’ll update the post as the names on the doors of the ministries are revealed. Sounds like many will be named outside the Assembly chamber rather than waiting to be announced as part of business. The Speaker may not be amused. Choice 1 DUP – Finance and Personnel – Sammy Wilson (for 2 years) then Simon Hamilton Choice 2 SF – Education – John O’Dowd Choice 3 DUP – Enterprise Trade and Industry – Arlene Foster Choice 4 UUP – … Read more

All change at the Executive today: Issues arising…

So we weren’t the only ones wrong footed by the parties’ choice of cabinet positions. Mark Devenport reports that Sinn Fein choosing DETI seems to have been just as much expected in Stormont as out in virtual world: …it looks like the stalemate over academic selection will continue. I’m told that when Sinn Fein announced their choice it was greeted by the other parties with a stunned silence. Sinn Fein’s decision to retain their nightmare portfolio in Education is the second … Read more

Tom Elliott can he lead?

Tom Elliot became a surprising story of the election with his outburst in Omagh and he is destined to be at the centre of things throughout the coming days. With his party achieving 16 seats and Alliance 8 as things stand the UUP will lose a ministry. That is unless he can tempt party reject David McClarty back into the fold. Though as Mark Devenport notes the Alliance party could then try to cook up a counter deal with Steven … Read more