Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

DUP likely to assume justice post

The DUP looks set to gain chairmanship of the Assembly scrutiny team which will monitor the new Justice Minister.

But it remains unclear whether Sinn Fein or the SDLP will take up the vice-chair of the committee.

The 22 chairs and vice-chairs of the existing committees are up for grabs after a decision by the procedures committee to re-run the entire process.

As leader of the largest party, DUP leader Peter Robinson has first choice and is thought likely to opt for the role to scrutinise the minister — almost certainly Alliance leader David Ford.

Sinn Fein appears likely to stick to its first choice of retaining the Finance Committee chair.

If the vice-chairmanships are run after the chair positions, however — a matter still to be decided under standing orders — then Sinn Fein could take the vice-chair of Justice also.

The DUP and Sinn Fein agreed to opt out of the running for the justice ministry and Mr Ford appears to be the only politician who can gain cross-community support.

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