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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
PA This is the fourth attempt to restart Stormont since the May elections
# Stormont
Stormont to be recalled next week in latest attempt to elect speaker
Currently, the Assembly is unable to function as the DUP have blocked the election of a new speaker.

STORMONT IS SET to be recalled next week in the latest attempt to elect a speaker for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The recall petition, brought forward by the SDLP, received enough support to bring MLAs back to Stormont next Tuesday.

Currently, the Assembly is unable to function as the DUP have blocked the election of a new speaker due to their opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The DUP are also refusing to reenter the power sharing Executive, with party leader Jeffrey Donaldson saying they will only do so when the UK Government’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill becomes law.

The SDLPs recall petition was partially brought forward for a cost-of-living motion by the party, with MLA Matthew O’Toole calling for Stormont to return.

“People and families across Northern Ireland are experiencing the most severe cost of living crisis in living memory. At a time when working households are facing a real emergency, there is no justification for those continuing to hold our democratic institutions to ransom for their own cheap political games,” said O’Toole.

O’Toole called for Donaldson to “make his mind up” on whether or not the DUP would be returning now that the Protocol Bill has passed through the House of Commons in Westminster.

“He cannot keep speaking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to the restoration of the Assembly and the Executive. The SDLP is challenging his integrity as a political leader and his party’s commitment to respecting the result of May’s election.”

The SDLP are set to nominate MLA Patsy McGlone for the position of speaker, and have called for the DUP to support the nomination of a speaker.

Previous attempts to restart the executive have failed, with the most recent attempt by People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll not succeeding.

Due to the DUP’s opposition, alongside a speaker, both the first and deputy first ministers are unable to be nominated and the power sharing executive cannot be restored.

The executive itself collapsed in early February after the resignation of DUP First Minister Paul Givan and has operated in a caretaker capacity since its collapse.

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