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Pressure mounts on DUP Speaker Robin Newton to quit post

By Staff Reporter

Alliance leader Naomi Long has urged Speaker Robin Newton to quit after he blocked the release of advice he received before refusing to allow an Assembly question about Charter NI.

Mr Newton faces a motion of no confidence at Stormont today after he allowed DUP First Minister Arlene Foster to make an Assembly statement about the 'cash for ash' scandal without the agreement of Martin McGuinness.

But the DUP Speaker has also been in the firing line over how he dealt with issues surrounding Charter NI, a charity headed by alleged UDA leader Dee Stitt.

Mr Newton had refused to allow an urgent oral question relating to Executive funding of Charter NI prior to Christmas. This came after he had already apologised for having not declared an interest in Charter NI, and said he would take no more decisions relating to the group.

A media outlet asked for information that would help understand some of his recent decisions. Some was released, but Mr Newton personally blocked the rest.

Mrs Long said: "For the Speaker to take such a decision, particularly the day before a vote of no confidence in his position, leaves me absolutely dumbfounded."

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