Office of the Speaker
Edwin Poots was elected as the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 3 February 2024.
As Speaker he performs three main roles: procedural, corporate and representational.
In this role he chairs plenary sessions of the Assembly, calling Members to speak on debates, maintaining order in the Chamber and replying to areas of dispute raised by Members. As Speaker, he is politically impartial and does not participate in any debates in the Assembly. In this work he is assisted by Deputy Speakers Carál Ní Chuilín (Sinn Fein), John Blair (Alliance) and Dr Steve Aiken OBE (UUP). He chairs meetings of the Business Committee which is responsible for determining the business to be discussed in plenary sessions.
In this role he chairs the Assembly Commission which is responsible under legislation to ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services it requires to carry out its work.
As Speaker he also performs an important representational role which includes: receiving VIP visitors to the Assembly, such as Heads of State, Ambassadors and senior political figures; attending external events to promote the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, such as officially opening the Assembly marquee at the Balmoral Show; and hosting events at Parliament Buildings to widen public access to their locally devolved institution.
Visit to Parliament Buildings by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State
On 5th February 2024 the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Edwin Poots MLA, hosted Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP and Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris MP on their visit to Parliament Buildings.
Take a look back at the Parliament Buildings 80th Anniversary Open Day celebrations. This very successful event saw almost 5000 people visit Parliament Buildings to mark the special occasion.