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Pengelly told 'keep it brief' on her Stormont debut

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 24/11/2015

Rules: Emma Pengelly
Rules: Emma Pengelly

The DUP's newest Assembly recruit has been warned to keep her answers brief during her first ever question time.

Emma Pengelly, who was appointed a junior minister just a month after being co-opted as a South Belfast MLA, was reminded to stay within the two-minute time frame following her debut appearance at the Stormont Assembly.

Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin said: "Thank you for that detailed answer, but there is a two-minute rule which I will remind you about now."

In her first public question and answer session, Ms Pengelly, a qualified barrister, was probed on a court judgment over the failure to agree an anti-poverty strategy.

She said the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister had committed more than £100m to reduce poverty and the consequences of living in areas of deprivation. Ms Pengelly said: "We have currently spent over £27m on our Delivering Social Change projects, including contributing significantly to the projects jointly funded with Atlantic Philanthropies in total worth almost £60m over this and the next three years.

"In all this work we have focused strategically on improving outcomes across a range of deprivation measures to help improve the lives of those in poverty."

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