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Resounding defeat for amendment to NI bill on ministerial powers

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Barrister Richard Bullick

Barrister Richard Bullick

Barrister Richard Bullick

An attempt to amend a bill which its opponents say gives too much power to individual Stormont ministers has failed after MLAs from four of the five Executive parties opposed it.

DUP MLAs disregarded the advice of their party's former special adviser, barrister Richard Bullick, who has argued that they are "sleepwalking into making profound constitutional amendments" and shedding gains that the party negotiated in the 2006 St Andrew's Agreement.

The amendment was defeated by 73 votes to 10 with only the Ulster Unionists, TUV leader Jim Allister, and former DUP MLA Jim Wells supporting it.