MLAs slammed for Stormont absence

Published Monday, 18 February 2013
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MLAs absent from Ministers' question time on Monday could be made to apologise, the Speaker of the House Willie Hay has told members.

MLAs slammed for Stormont absence
Speaker Willie Hay spoke out after seeing empty seats in the chamber. (© UTV)

Mr Hay had stern words at Stormont for those who did not turn up for the afternoon session, a practice which he said could not go on.

There were a number of empty seats in the house for questions to Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry.

"There was quite a few members who were not in their places for question time this afternoon and I don't know any other elected institution where that would be tolerated," he said.

"I would expect these members who have not been in their place this afternoon, that the first opportunity they have, they will come to this house and they will give a reason."

"Members who for whatever reason feel that they can't do that, I can assure members we will deal it, and deal with it properly and procedurally," he added.

"It cannot go on that members just don't turn up and don't give a reason and certainly if it continues I will deal with it, but from here on in I would expect members to give a reason and to apologise to this house."

Just a few months ago MLAs were issued with a written warning after they did not turn up when they were scheduled to ask questions. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the situation was a disgrace.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Max in Belfast wrote (710 days ago):
A disgrace, people in the field of work would be sacked for this. Why are politicans allowed to get away with it. With so much political crisis over the last 10 weeks, how can politicians just 'skip' their work.
Sean in Barcelona wrote (710 days ago):
Just seen that comment about back to direct rule, I thought that facebook page about Loyalist against Democracy was a laugh, are you the founder?
Michael H in Belfast wrote (710 days ago):
For once Ryan in Belfast I agree with you. What a total joke our Executive is. If they don't turn up then deduct their pay. This is what happens everywhere else.
realistic in planet earth wrote (710 days ago):
name and shame time....... they should be thankful they have jobs! just shows their contempt for the ordinary people........
Jacky Higgon in Belfast wrote (710 days ago):
Dock there wages, if I go awol from work I dont get paid plus I have to go through meetings to explain why I wasn't at work & if I dont give a proper explaination its heres ur P45.
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