Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

SDLP fails so far to censure Nelson McCausland

Nelson McCausland
Nelson McCausland

An SDLP move to censure DUP minister Nelson McCausland over his justification of “civil disobedience” following violence surrounding parades appears to have fallen at the first hurdle.

No other parties came forward yesterday to support the SDLP move, leaving the party short of the necessary signatures to lodge a censure motion in the Assembly.

Sinn Fein, which has also been critical of Mr McCausland’s justification of non-violent protest against Parades Commission decisions, remained silent over the move.

Yesterday SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell (right) — who has argued that Mr McCausland breached the Ministerial Code of Office and brought the Assembly into disrepute — gave Sinn Fein and other parties another 24 hours to respond. “To table this motion, we required 30 signatures to be submitted to the business office by 12 noon today. At 12 noon, we had the 14 SDLP signatures,” the South Belfast MP said.

“We have approached other parties on this issue. We have requested all parties to come back to us in the next 24 hours.

“Minister Nelson McCausland should be brought to account, both for his statements and his omissions in not condemning the incendiary and illegal actions in north Belfast over the summer,” he added.

Assembly Speaker William Hay told Mr McDonnell on Monday that the issue was outside his authority. There were clashes when bandsmen defied a Parades Commission ruling against playing music while passing St Patrick’s Church in Belfast city centre.

For days afterwards, the DUP Social Development Minister argued the Parades Commission determinations were making breaches of its rulings inevitable, and he could not condemn “civil disobedience”.



COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz