Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin to stand down from Assembly
Sinn Fein MLA confirms he won't seek re-election next year
Assembly Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin has announced he will not be seeking re-election as an MLA.
The Sinn Fein MLA made the announcement in the Assembly on Tuesday morning.
He said: "Before commencing business today, I want to bring another matter to the House’s attention. Members will be aware that the AERC Committee is currently gathering evidence for its inquiry into the Assembly and Executive Review Bill.
“I will be submitting evidence on a range of matters in relation to the House’s procedures and I will be putting that evidence into the Library so it is public for the information of all Members.
“However, that Bill also contains proposals in relation to the future election of the Speaker so it is important for me to be clear that I have no self interest in those proposals.
“I know it is no secret to many Members but I want to publicly put it on the record today that I will be stepping down as a Member of this Assembly at the end of this mandate. I will not therefore be seeking re-election as Speaker.
“I turned 70 during the Halloween recess and I look forward to the opportunity to doing some other things outside of this Assembly.
“However, there will be plenty of time to be reflective at a later point and I am making this announcement at this stage only to show proper courtesy to the House."
He added: "There is a lot of work in front of all of us in the next few months. There are a lot of issues I still want to try and make progress on with not much time to do it.
“However, I am particularly focused on managing the heavy legislative workload which I am expecting to confront us in the months ahead. That will be challenging and I will be speaking to the Business Committee about it today.”