Belfast Telegraph

'Petition of concern must be reformed'

By Suzanne Breen

The Alliance Party has said that future use of the petition of concern should be limited to legacy issues and matters relating to national identity or the structures established under the Good Friday Agreement.

A five member legally qualified panel appointed by the Assembly Commission would determine the eligibility of a petition of concern. When tabled, the Speaker would select a panel member at random to adjudicate within 24 hours.

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong said reforming Stormont's controversial veto mechanism was the only way to make the Assembly "sustainable".

The DUP said it had previously proposed scrapping the petition of concern but other parties had opposed the move.

"So long as the current structures exist, we will continue to use them. One-sided, selective criticisms of the petition of concern system from others ring hollow when their track record is scrutinised," the party said.

Belfast Telegraph

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