Kill Bill (the double jobbing one that is)

Dawn Purvis MLA has just published a press release regarding the progress of her Private Members Bill on double jobbing in the NI Assembly.  The Bill aims to end local Councillors being MLAs at the same time.  Dawn had discussed the issue of double jobbing at a NICVA event in 2009.

Dawn says that the DUP will try to use a veto to kill her bill on double-jobbing by tabling a Petition of Concern to prevent the bill from becoming law.

The Bill itself  has been through five stages of the legislative process.  After that all that is left for the Bill is the Final Stage (bet you are shocked at that!).  After the Final Stage the Bill then goes for Royal Assent.  Once Royal Assent is given then it will become law.

Dawn's objective is to reduce the practice of individuals holding more than one elected office at a time, an issue sometimes referred to as ‘multiple mandates’. The question of ‘multiple mandates’ has been debated by the Assembly on a number of occasions, including on 10 March 2009 which focused on dual mandates between the Northern Ireland Assembly and the UK Parliament. On 23 November 2009, the Assembly resolved:
“That this Assembly notes the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, ‘Supporting Parliament, Safeguarding the Taxpayer’; calls on all political parties within the Assembly and Parliament to commit to an end to “double-jobbing”, including private sector employment, ideally by the time of the scheduled election in May 2011 or, failing that, by 2015 at the latest; and further calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to convey the opinion of the Assembly on this matter to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.”
It should be noted that the Assembly does not have the authority to legislate on disqualifying its members from being MPs.

Dawn is very strong in her reaction and said that "This is an outrageous attempt to block this legislation and prevent this important reform from being implemented. It also sets an extremely dangerous precedent. The DUP is using this procedure –which should be used with careful consideration – to support their own interests as a political party.  I would call on Peter Robinson to support the final passage of the bill – after all he gave a commitment to bring an end to this practice of holding dual mandates."

Dawn says on her website that she will be making more comments on the issue soon.  The DUP have done it now!


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