Speaker’s impartiality challenged
Your page one article on August 4 carried a quote from “DUP MLA Willie Hay, also a spokesman for the Apprentice Boys”.
Mr Hay’s section of the Northern Ireland Assembly website says: “Members must be confident of the impartiality of the Speaker and this is achieved through the operation of a number of conventions. On appointment, the Speaker relinquishes all connections with his party. He does not participate or vote in any debates in the Assembly, he does not become involved in party politics, nor does he comment on Northern Ireland political matters or on issues of Government policy.”
I would be interested to hear Mr Hay’s interpretations of the conventions his website says he follows and how they allow him to sit as a DUP councillor, call himself a DUP MLA and speak for an organisation on Northern Ireland political matters. If he cannot do so, we can only take from his website that MLAs and the public can have no confidence in his impartiality.
West of the Bann voter