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Jim Wells' delayed departure queried

By Noel McAdam

Jim Wells has come under renewed fire for resigning as Health Minister but remaining in office until after the general election.

Although the DUP man has stood down, following controversial remarks about same sex couples, he will not actually leave the position until May 11.

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton is to take over some tasks related to the health portfolio temporarily.

Mr Wells' delayed departure was the first main item in the Assembly yesterday, when Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin was asked by Stewart Dickson of Alliance if he knew who the Health Minister was. Mr McLaughlin replied: "My office and I have received no notification, so, until I receive such notification, the Minister of Health is Mr Jim Wells."

Sinn Fein's Caitriona Ruane urged Mr Wells to go immediately, describing his decision to step down as "the right decision", but adding: "The only part of the decision I think is wrong is he should have resigned from now, not May 11th".

Belfast Telegraph


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