Committee on Standards and Privileges tables motion recommending a sanction be imposed on Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 30 April 2024

Reference: CSP 02/23/24

The Committee on Standards and Privileges has tabled a motion in the Assembly recommending that a sanction be imposed on Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA following a complaint that he breached the Assembly Members’ Code of Conduct (the Code).

The complaint was investigated by the independent Assembly Commissioner for Standards, Dr Melissa McCullough, and following consideration of her investigation report, in March 2022, the then Committee concluded that Dr Aiken had breached the Code through the unauthorised disclosure of confidential information relating to a live complaint and by failing to co-operate at all times with the Commissioner’s investigation.

The previous Committee considered this to be an egregious breach of the Code given that, as a Member of the Committee, Dr Aiken should have been leading by example in maintaining the confidentiality of complaints and in co-operating at all times with the Commissioner’s investigation. As such, it concluded that the successor Committee should recommend to the Assembly that Dr Aiken be sanctioned. Having considered its predecessor’s report, theCommittee hasrecommended the sanction that Dr Aiken be excluded from Assembly proceedings for a period of two sitting days.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA said: “Whilst the Committee takes all breaches of the Code very seriously, it noted the conclusion of the last Committee that this was an egregious breach given the particular circumstances of the case. I am therefore pleased that the Committee has agreed to recommend to the Assembly that it imposes what we consider to be an appropriate and proportionate sanction.”

The Committee’s motion is to be debated in the Assembly on Tuesday 7 May 2024 and the applicable Order Paper is available here.




For media enquiries please contact:

Sinead Murphy
Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Mobile: 0789 9864 368


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