McCausland no confidence vote backed

Published Tuesday, 18 September 2012
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The SDLP has received enough signatures to proceed with a motion of no-confidence in Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.

McCausland no confidence vote backed
Alasdair McDonnell proposed the no confidence motion. (© UTV)

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell made the proposal last week due to the minister's handling of recent parades issues in north Belfast.

The SDLP believes Mr McCausland's decision not to condemn bands who failed to comply with Parades Commission rulings, runs contrary to his Pledge of Office and the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

Sinn Fein has agreed to back the proposal and the party has now obtained the 30 signatures it required to table the motion.

The motion will be debated in the Assembly in the coming weeks. If the move is passed, Mr McCausland could be excluded from office for a period of up to three months.

Restrictions were imposed after a loyalist band played a song alleged to be sectarian outside St Patrick's Church on Donegall Street on the Twelfth of July.

Mr McDonnell said as the minister did not condemn their actions, he failed "to uphold law and order and promote good community relations".

"I am delighted that this motion, which is designed solely to bring accountability back into politics, is to go ahead," the south Belfast MP said.

"I am also pleased that, after an extended period of discussion, Sinn Féin decided to make common cause with us in defence of decency and respect for all our communities.

"We are disappointed that other parties did not sign the motion, but we hope that they will join us on the floor of the house when the motion is debated."

He added: "He has broken his promise, he must be held accountable and he must face the consequences."

A DUP spokesperson had said Mr McCausland was working with the community to ensure a long term solution to the recent problems and at all times condemned violence.

© UTV News
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11 Comments
Mike in Belfast wrote (742 days ago):
The MLAs have to learn that certain responsibilities come with office. Unfortunately some of the less thinking people in NI society take MLAs words or lack of word as tacit approval of their unacceptable behaviour.
John in Co.Aramgh wrote (743 days ago):
This vote of no confidence will go nowhere as it needs cross community support, and i don't think the Unionist party will back motion to condemn a fellow unionist and why should they, i think Sinn Fein are a joke they never condemned one single atrocity in over 35 years of republican terror. I wonder will the UTV judge allow this post as it is not remit to allow unionists to have an opinion on this website without blocking them.
John in Co.Armagh wrote (743 days ago):
If anyone ever needed proof of of the pan nationalist front which people claimed never existed here today we have it today loud and clear. And why do the unionist parties not put forward a motion on Martin's attendance and lack of condemnation of a blatant act of sectarian intimidation of protestant worshiper's in Dungiven. don't see the SDLP shouting from the rooftops about that.
charlie in london wrote (743 days ago):
Concerned, This is not a Sinn Fein motion. It's an SDLP motion. I'll agree with you that SF look somewhat stupid here, and probably explains why they took so long to get on board; but the SDLP tabled this. This is a party who called wrongdoing from the very foundation of the party. Gerrymandered local government - against it, IRA campaign - against it, multiple votes for local business franchises -against it, houses for the people you want housed - against it, loyalist death squads -against it. I'm sure you'll back a party that isn't hypocrites like them and call out the blatant hypocrite that is McCausland for openly flouting the loyal just to get some votes.
Charlie in London wrote (743 days ago):
Peter Weir: "This motion requires cross-community support and they know there is no prospect at all of support for that" Is that a inadvertent acknowledgement by Weir that when it comes to motions against their minister no matter how reasonable or justified the complaint is, they will never back a motion that attacks his minister. Doesn't matter what they have done, if it's a DUP wrongdoing then we'll back him all the way. Says it all. So much for locally accountable politicans. Might as well just hand the entire running of the country over to the civil service. We wouldn't have to pay taxes to listen to the likes of Nelson McCausland or Peter Weir.
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BRIAN ROWAN
Two comments, spoken tongue-in-cheek, nonetheless summed up the mood and the mire that is Stormont politics.
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