Press Release

Committee Report on Ministerial Appointments Receives Assembly Support

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Monday, 31 January 2011

Reference: AER 01/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly today debated a report by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee on its review of sections 16A to 16C of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. These sections of the Act set out how appointments to ministerial posts are made, including those of the First and deputy First Minister. Consideration of these sections of the Act was a requirement placed on the Committee by section 29B(1)(a) and (b) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Following the debate, Jimmy Spratt MLA, Chair of the Committee welcomed the Assembly’s endorsement of the Committee’s report:

“The Committee recognised that the issues relating to the appointment of Ministers were essentially political and that it was going to be difficult for the Committee to agree a way forward. This was also reflected in the debate today.

"However, this should not deflect from the fact the Committee engaged in frank discussion and explored a variety of options in its review of these sections of the Northern Ireland Act.

“We welcome the Assembly’s endorsement of the Committee’s report while acknowledging the diverse views expressed in the report and in the Chamber this afternoon.”

Notes to Editors:

1. Under the terms of the St. Andrews Agreement, the Assembly and Executive Review Committee was established to deal with the institutional arrangements of the Assembly and the Executive.

Committee Membership:

Mr Jimmy Spratt (Chairperson)

Mr Alex Maskey (Deputy Chairperson)

Mr Jonathan Bell

Mr Fred Cobain

Mr Tom Elliott

Mr Paul Givan

Mr Simon Hamilton

Mr Raymond McCartney

Mr Conall McDevitt

Mr Declan O’Loan

Mr Pat Sheehan

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