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Donaldson backs 'terrific' Conservative plan to see NI host House of Commons meetings

Lagan Valley MP insists move would be particularly 'wonderful' in centenary year


Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg (Stefan Rousseau/PA)


Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has backed plans by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to have House of Commons sit in Northern Ireland each September.

The DUP MP said such a move, reported in the Daily Telegraph, would be "terrific" to witness parliamentary proceedings take place here.

"It would be a historic occasion. It would be wonderful to see that happening in our centenary year, if possible," he explained.

The proposal by Mr Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, comes as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said centenary programme marking the anniversary of Northern Ireland's foundation will champion young people of the future.

Plans for 2021 include a major business showcase in London, a £1million Shared History Fund, an ambitious programme for young people, tree-planting projects, academic and historic events and an international church service for all denominations.

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It will also tribute to those who worked tirelessly to support the region during the pandemic.

Nationalists and unionists hold sharply differing views of the history of Northern Ireland: on its past governance and public representation; the security situation including decades of conflict; seismic events like the Second World War or the civil rights movement; over issues like public housing, freedom to demonstrate and equal voter representation.

Mr Rees-Mogg's plan would also see the House of Commons sitting in Scotland and Wales.

Sir Jeffrey told the BBC's The View programme on Thursday that he would welcome such a proposal.

"As a member of Parliament for almost 25 years it would be terrific to have the House of Commons sitting in Northern Ireland," he explained.

"I will certainly be making a bid for Northern Ireland to have first crack of the whip. To host a meeting of the House of Commons here, in Northern Ireland, I think it would be good for the United Kingdom."

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