DUP MLAs who rebelled on a crucial Stormont vote remained tight-lipped after claims they had challenged Arlene Foster's authority as leader.
The Belfast Telegraph made attempts to contact all 11 MLAs who chose not to vote for the Executive Committees Function Bill. Two, David Hilditch and Trevor Clarke, denied it represented a challenge to Mrs Foster but said they would make no further comment on their reasons for abstaining.
Thomas Buchanan said he had no comment to make while the remaining eight abstaining MLAs - Alex Easton, Paula Bradley, Joanne Bunting, Jonathan Buckley, Paul Frew, William Humphrey, and former ministers Mervyn Storey and Michelle McIlveen - have yet to respond.
The controversial bill gives ministers more individual powers, and was eventually passed by 58 votes to 13, with 11 abstentions.
The rebellion from DUP MLAs followed warnings from former First Minister Peter Robinson's adviser Richard Bullick, who said it would effectively remove the DUP's ability to veto decisions it disagreed with. He claimed the DUP was "sleepwalking into making profound constitutional amendments" and shedding gains negotiated in the 2006 St Andrews Agreement.
He said he was "concerned about the danger" of the DUP rebellion being interpreted as a challenge to Mrs Foster's authority, "but it turns on a few moving parts". "These issues are more grey than some current arguments suggest," he said.
Radio Ulster's Nolan Show reported that senior DUP figures had urged Mrs Foster to pause the bill, including MPs Sammy Wilson and Jeffrey Donaldson as well as former MP Nigel Dodds.
A DUP statement has since called the bill "a very technical piece of legislation, which was the subject of considerable legal input from senior government lawyers".
It added: "Bills would not normally be accelerated but in recognition some members would have like more time to debate this bill we relaxed our whip on the matter."
The new law was introduced following a court judgment two years ago, which overturned the Executive's approval for a waste incinerator near Mallusk.
Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken said he regretted that the Assembly had passed "poor and badly thought-out legislation".
"The fact that the Junior Ministers admitted that no changes in planning, which this Bill was supposedly about, can be enacted until the revised ministerial code is brought before the Assembly in either the autumn or early winter, shows that not only was there ample time to give this bill proper consideration, but also that the flaws highlighted in this process re-emphasise that no lessons have been learnt since RHI," he said.
"While we did not manage to defeat the bill, the fact that some DUP MLAs chose to abstain in person shows the considerable disquiet that there is across much of the Assembly in this process. I fear that the flaws in this bill could haunt us for many years to come."
Sinn Fein junior minister Declan Kearney denied the legislation would allow ministers to go on 'solo runs' and said it was necessary to progress key planning decisions.