Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“When the Assembly debated the appointment of Douglas Bain as Assembly Commissioner for Standards I expressed my disappointment with the choice of someone who so neatly fitted within the quango circuit. My view that Mr Bain is completely unsuited for the role is reinforced by the fact that he has decided that a complaint made against Gerry Kelly following comments he made on the Nolan Show about his breakout from the Maze is inadmissible, a decision agreed to by the Committee on Standards and Privileges.
“In an interview on the Nolan Show on 25th October last year Kelly described his book about the breakout in which a prison officer was shot in the head and another officer died from a heart attack as “a good old yarn” and when asked if the prison officer deserved to be shot replied that that depended on context.
“Mr Bain quotes a section of Kelly’s interview which reads:
Nolan: Did he deserve to be shot?
Kelly: Well it depends in what context you look at it, in the context of saving an escape of 38 prisoners outside the jail and haven’t been warned that if you did anything, that he was in danger. I don’t think deserves comes into it, it’s whether the volunteer involved thought he had to do it to save the escape.
“Mr Bain then says:
“Mr Kelly was not stating that whether or not the officer deserved to be shot depended on the context. It may be that from the standpoint of an escapee the officer did deserve to be shot: most others would take a wholly contrary view. Mr Kelly does not in the comment he actually made express a view on whether or not the officer deserved to be shot. There is, in my view, nothing in Mr Kelly’s response that could constitute a breach of the Code.”
“That Mr Bain would suggest that whether the officer deserved to be shot depends on ones “standpoint” is incredible and totally unacceptable.
“It is equally extraordinary that the Committee on Standards and Privileges would endorse this opinion.
“Given the decisions of the Standards Commissioner in recent days one is entitled to ask what does an MLA have to do in order to be deemed as breaching the Code?
“In reaching this decision and explicitly stating that whether someone deserves to be shot by escaping terrorists depends on ones “standpoint” Mr Bain has given a green light to the glorification of terror by MLAs and brought his office into disrepute”.