A week is a long time in politics, er... a day, er....an hour?

Under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, Part III, Section 16 (5)

The holder of the office of First Minister or deputy First Minister may by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer designate a Northern Ireland Minister to exercise the functions of that office—
(a)during any absence or incapacity of the holder; or
(b)during any vacancy in that office arising otherwise than under subsection (7)(a);
but a person shall not have power to act by virtue of paragraph (a) for a continuous period exceeding 6 weeks

This has been enacted today by Peter Robinson to designate Arlene Foster, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, to exercise the functions of the office of the First Minister.

In relation to this Arlene, not Peter, is responding to the urgent oral question from Caral Ní Chuilín,
To ask the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to outline to the Assembly any possible implications for the OFMDFM in respect of allegations relating to financial matters made by the BBC Spotlight programme

Things are moving apace in our wee province.



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