Media Operational Notice

Plenary Sitting – Monday 27 March 2017

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 27 March 2017

Today’s Plenary sitting of the Northern Ireland Assembly will not take place.

Please see letter below from the Speaker, Robin Newton MLA, which was issued to all Members today:


Dear Member,

Plenary Sitting – Monday 27 March 2017

Having met with party whips this morning following representations made to me yesterday, it is clear that there is no prospect of achieving a successful outcome to the business scheduled on the Order Paper today.  That includes the item that is required to be transacted first before we can proceed further, the election of a Speaker and Deputy Speakers. 

While there may not be unanimous agreement on this amongst all Members, the five largest parties, have called on me not to proceed with today’s plenary sitting.  I believe it is reasonable for me to act, albeit reluctantly, based on the will of the vast majority of the Assembly.

On the basis that my communications from parties have made clear that no business can be successfully transacted today the deadline required by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 for the appointment of Ministers will not be met.  The implications of that are now for others to consider.

While the sitting planned for noon today will not now take place, I remain willing to facilitate a future Assembly sitting as required. 

On behalf of the Assembly and all those we represent, I express my hope that we reach an agreement which enables the Assembly to resume normal business as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely

Robin Newton MBE MLA


For more information, please contact:

Communications Office
Northern Ireland Assembly
Tel: 028 90521137