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MLAs to discuss how legislation can be progressed after resignation of First Minister

A law is expected to be passed at Westminster which will prevent collapse of NI Assembly





MLAs will meet at Stormont for the first time since Paul Givan announced his resignation as First Minister.

Local representatives will meet the Speaker Alex Maskey on Monday morning to discuss how legislation can be progressed.

In a letter to MLAs following the First Minister’s resignation, Mr Maskey said: “The Assembly will continue to carry out business until dissolution takes place.

“The Business Committee will schedule sittings of the Assembly as normal and the scrutiny of Executive legislation and Private Members’ Bills going through the Assembly can continue.

“While the wider political environment may not make things easier, I will remain focused on working with parties to deal with as much legislation as possible in the time available.”

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The dissolution of the Assembly is expected to occur at midnight on March 28, 2022.

At Westminster a law is due to be passed on Monday that would protect the NI Assembly from collapse.

It would remove the need for the NI secretary to set a date for an election if the positions of First and Deputy First Minister are not filled by the end of the week.

The NI Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern Bill would allow the NI Assembly to continue without a functioning Executive for at least six months.

During that time ministers would be able to run their departments.

The legislation could also take effect after the assembly election in May if parties fail to fill the positions of First and Deputy First Minister.

A House of Lords amendment to the bill would allow the legislation to be applied retrospectively.

The next step for the legislation, which was agreed under the New Decade, New Approach deal to restore power-sharing in 2020, will then be sent for royal assent.

Paul Givan resigned as First Minister on February 3. The move meant Michelle O'Neill automatically lost her position as Deputy First Minister.

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