Assembly Speaker William Hay has held out an olive branch in an attempt to defuse a row with outspoken MLA Jim Allister.
The Traditional Unionist Voice leader accused Mr Hay — a former colleague in the DUP — of “doing his masters’ bidding” and was told he would not be called to speak next week.
But the Speaker has suggested that if Mr Allister says sorry for his remarks — which included telling Mr Hay “your peerage is safe” — he will consider the spat over.
A spokesman for Mr Hay’s office said: “The Speaker has been patient but he cannot allow continued disruption and disorder in the House and therefore reluctantly decided he had to act.”
But Mr Allister said yesterday: “I do not think I have anything to apologise for — the Speaker gave the impression of just jumping in and wanting to shut me down.”
The TUV man’s tensions with the Stormont chair have been escalating for some time.
However, they reached tipping point last Tuesday when Mr Hay set out speaking arrangements but said he would not take questions and Mr Allister said: “I wonder why?”