TUV leader Jim Allister has said that any "tough talk" against Sinn Fein in the Assembly today over the Bobby Storey funeral is effectively meaningless because the DUP will remain in government with the party.
MLAs will gather at Stormont for an emergency sitting to discuss a motion of censure against Sinn Fein for Michelle O'Neill's and Conor Murphy's attendance at the funeral despite Covid-19 public health guidelines.
The Ulster Unionists and Alliance have called for an unequivocal apology from the Deputy First Minister to restore confidence.
The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) yesterday announced a review of its controversial decision not to prosecute anyone for alleged coronavirus breaches at the funeral.
While the DUP has not ruled out eventually withdrawing its members from the Policing Board, which meets behind closed doors today, there is no suggestion that the party will pull out of the Executive. Arlene Foster called on the Chief Constable to resign, saying he has lost the confidence of the unionist community, but Simon Byrne rejected her appeal.
DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said he would be "challenging the Chief Constable and his senior command team about the appalling manner in which the Storey funeral was policed" at today's Policing Board meeting.
"The engagement between the police and the funeral organisers was a factor in no prosecution being made," he said.
"This is inexplicable and fundamentally harms confidence in policing. We are pressing for an investigation by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
"Any senior officer who approved of or contributed to the decision-making around this policing operation is also in an untenable position."
Speaking ahead of the Assembly emergency meeting, Mr Allister said: "Doubtless there will be tough talk during the debate, but Sinn Fein knows that, at the end of the day, the DUP will be remaining in government with it.
"There will be no follow-up in Stormont after Thursday's discussion. It is an absurd situation that a party which sees itself as above the law is sustained in office by unionists. It is a wholly unacceptable situation.
"I spoke to a man who buried his 33-year-old wife with only 25 mourners present.
"He asked why a terrorist godfather like Bobby Storey was considered more important than his wife."
The TUV leader will be unable to contribute to the debate because he is subject to a three-day ban on speaking in the chamber.
Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong said a sincere apology from Sinn Fein was essential.
"This issue has reopened old wounds for people like myself who lost a loved one during the pandemic and who couldn't attend their funeral," she added.
"Most of us stuck by the rules in order to stop the spread of Covid, but we are angry some flouted those rules.
"It is important that the Assembly has the chance to voice its concerns over this matter and ensure the focus is where it should be - looking for Sinn Fein to unequivocally apologise for their actions in relation to this funeral."
Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken said: "Sinn Fein must acknowledge the damage that their actions have caused to public confidence.
"They have a chance to demonstrate contrition and humility in the Assembly and to give a proper apology.
"It is insulting to plead ignorance of the law when they are a part of the Executive who drew up the regulations.
"Grieving families and communities across Northern Ireland have stuck to the rules.
"Sinn Fein showed no consideration to the hurt they would cause by holding the style of funeral that they did for Bobby Storey. Their actions were a disgrace and a slap in the face to our population, who have endured so much over the last year."
DUP MLA Christopher Stalford said: "Sinn Fein's arrogant disregard for anyone but their own narrow clique will not come as a surprise to anyone, but it must continue to be highlighted and challenged.
"The recall of the Assembly is a small but entirely necessary step in that process.
"It is a very simple principle that everyone should be equal under the law and equally subject to the law."
The PPS said the review of its decision not to prosecute anyone in relation to Bobby Storey's funeral would be carried out by one of its senior lawyers "not involved in taking the original decisions".
The move was welcomed by Health Minister Robin Swann and by UUP MLA Doug Beattie, who had contacted the PPS. He said: "The PPS decision not to prosecute has huge ramifications for those that did adhere faithfully to the regulations.
"Emotionally, many of my constituents have been affected by this decision and many have also been affected financially.
"I believe the original decision was flawed and I will await with interest the findings of this review."
DUP MLA Gordon Lyons also welcomed the move.
"The original decision not to prosecute did not make sense to anyone. The Covid regulations were clear and obvious to virtually every single person in Northern Ireland and there were no issues raised at the time of Bobby Storey's funeral about either clarity or consistency," he said.