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David Ford demands first meeting of the Executive after three month break

By Noel McAdam

Published 23/10/2015

Issues to debate: David Ford
Issues to debate: David Ford

Stormont's Executive has not met now for more than three months - with the date for its next meeting still in doubt.

And now the DUP's move to get 'back to business' has been called into question as Executive ministers failed again to meet yesterday - two days after Peter Robinson and his team returned to office full-time.

Alliance leader David Ford said it was "essential" the DUP's ministers get back to work.

His attack came after DUP leader Peter Robinson denied that the number of delayed decisions facing the Executive are stacking up.

"In fact ministers, including our own, have been making the decisions they need to all along," he said. "We have not decided whether to keep the focus on the (inter-party) talks or if we should call an Executive."

Despite the six weeks of DUP minister's continually being reappointed and resigning, Mr Robinson also said that an emergency Executive meeting could be held if it was necessary.

But Justice Minister Mr Ford said: "The Executive should meet again as soon as possible. There are a number of important issues to deal with, perpetuated by the DUP's 'in-out' policy.

"Alliance ministers have continued working throughout this crisis. It is essential other Executive ministers now get back to business as well."

The last meeting of the Executive was on Tuesday, July 7, more than three months ago. It usually meets once a fortnight, most often on Thursdays.

Among the issues it has left unresolved is the distribution of unspent departmental cash declared in the June 'monitoring round' - with the latest of the quarterly exercises due this month.

Belfast Telegraph

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