Statement by TUV leader, Jim Allister:-
“Last Tuesday during a report to the Assembly on the NSMC Plenary session I sought to ask if any one had raised the Chief Coroner’s concerns about non-cooperation by the Garda over the pending Kingsmills inquest.
“The Deputy Speaker (Roy Beggs) refused to allow the issue to be pursued on the basis that it did not arise directly from the minister’s statement. I protested that another member (Alex Atwood) had been permitted, without challenge, to raise a question about a matter (illegal dumping) not covered in the statement. I sought explanation as to why there had been this disparity in approach by the Chair.
“Today, the response which came was not to answer my legitimate question by providing an explanation, instead, I have been gagged till 10th November for daring to seek explanation of something crying out for such explanation.
“This is a gross and disproportionate infringement of the rights of those who elected me, but unsurprising for a chamber which has difficulty in coming to terms with anyone who dares to ask hard questions.
“By such punitive and selective action this morning the Sinn Fein Deputy Speaker, smarting from his rejection yesterday, has further diminished the Stormont Assembly as a credible institution.
“The powers that be may think they have again silenced the voice of TUV within the chamber, but thankfully they cannot silence me outside the chamber, or the people at the ballot box.”