Following a written question by Alan Chambers, the Ulster Unionist MLA for North Down, the Assembly Commission has removed access to the First and Deputy First Minister`s offices in Parliament Buildings by their previous occupants.
Alan Chambers MLA said:
“It was drawn to my attention that Sinn Fein were continuing to use the Deputy First Minister`s office in Parliament Buildings despite the fact that they walked away from the institutions in January 2017. Given the extensive facilities already accessible to Michelle O`Neill and her party, and the fact that they continue to boycott a return to Stormont, I didn`t think it was right that they were allowed to continue to use the trappings of power whilst abdicating their responsibilities. So I wrote to the Assembly Commission to clarify the situation about the use of the First and Deputy First Minister`s offices. I am pleased that they have confirmed my suspicions and taken action to halt this abuse of position by removing access to these facilities.
“I look forward to the day when we have a fully functioning Assembly back in place, but until that time, parties such as Sinn Fein should not be able to use the trappings of power whilst they continue to hold the country to ransom.”
Notes to Editors:
Written Question to Assembly Commission
To ask the Assembly Commission to outline who has current authority to use the ground floor offices in Parliament Buildings designated to the (i) First Minister; and (ii) deputy First Minister.
The suites of offices on the Ground Floor of Parliament Buildings, to which you refer, have always been allocated to the First Minister (west side) and deputy First Minister (east side) and their respective teams and the use of the offices has been controlled by the Executive Office, in conjunction with the respective ministers.
Having been made aware that some of the rooms continue to be used at a time when there is no First Minister and deputy First Minister in post and, following confirmation from the Executive Office it has no current requirement for the rooms, the Assembly Commission has moved to retain control of the rooms.