Office of the Speaker
Alex Maskey MLA was elected as the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 11 January 2020.
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 Speaker Patsy McGlone (SDLP). 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.
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.