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Official Report: Monday 13 March 2017


The Assembly met at 4:00 pm.

Assembly Business

Notice of First Meeting

The Clerk to the Assembly: Please be seated. In accordance with Standing Order 3(1)(a), I shall now read the notice sent under Standing Order 2(2) convening this meeting of the Assembly.

In accordance with Standing Order 2(1), I hereby give notice that the Assembly will meet, as required by section 31(4) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, in Parliament Buildings at 4.00 pm on Monday 13 March 2017.

Please stand for the Speaker.

(Mr Speaker in the Chair)

Undertaking and Roll of Membership

Mr Speaker: Please take your seats. Before we proceed with today's business, I offer my congratulations to all of you following the election. As well as welcoming back former Members, I extend a particular welcome to those who are present in the Chamber for the first time. I would also like to put on record our appreciation to colleagues from all sides of the Chamber who either decided not to return or were not re-elected. We thank them for their service.

Item 2 on the Order Paper is the signing of the undertaking and the Roll of Membership. Standing Order 3(7) says that a Member shall take his or her seat by giving the undertaking set out in section 40A(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and then signing the Roll of Membership.

As you will not have taken your seats until I have had an opportunity to check the undertaking and the Roll, Members will not be able to participate in Assembly proceedings or be entitled to the privileges of office. This means that I cannot take any points of order during this process. Members can always raise procedural matters of concern with me outside the Chamber or seek advice from the Business Office.

I will now explain the procedures for giving the undertaking and signing the Roll of Membership. I will invite Members to come forward in their party groups. I will call the parties in alphabetical order. I will then call the independent Member. When each party name is called, I will ask the members of the party to proceed through the Aye Lobby on my right. Members should then come forward to the first table to give the undertaking.

In accordance with Standing Order 3(7), Members must give the undertaking before signing the Assembly’s Roll of Membership. Members will give the undertaking by printing their name, entering the date and signing the page provided, on which the undertaking has been printed. The giving of the undertaking shall be supervised by Assembly officials. Any Member who does not give the undertaking during this item of business may do so at a later date by appointment through the Speaker’s Office. A Member may not sign the Assembly’s Roll of Membership unless he or she has given the undertaking in accordance with this procedure. My decision as to whether a Member has properly given the undertaking shall be final. The signed undertaking page will be kept as the official record of Members having given the undertaking.

Members should then move to the second table and sign one of the Roll pages. Again, Members should enter today’s date and print and sign their name, but, for the Roll, they must also enter a designation of identity as "Nationalist", "Unionist" or "Other". Members should note that Standing Order 3(12) provides that a Member who does not enter a designation of identity in one of those terms will be deemed to be designated "Other".

The process of giving the undertaking and signing the Roll may take some time. I, therefore, ask Members for their patience during the procedure.

Before we proceed, Members might find it helpful if the undertaking is read into the record:

To undertake:

to support the rule of law unequivocally in word and deed and to support all efforts to uphold it;

to work collectively with the other members of the Assembly to achieve a society free of paramilitarism;

to challenge all paramilitary activity and associated criminality;

to call for, and to work together with the other members of the Assembly to achieve, the disbandment of all paramilitary organisations and their structures;

to challenge paramilitary attempts to control communities;

to support those who are determined to make the transition away from paramilitarism;

to accept no authority, direction or control on my political activities other than my democratic mandate alongside my own personal and party judgment.

(Mr Speaker gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership)

Mr Speaker: Members, we shall now proceed. I invite members of the Alliance Party to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Members gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Ms Kellie Armstrong United Community

Ms Paula Bradshaw United Community

Mr Stewart Dickson United Community

Dr Stephen Farry United Community

Mr David Ford United Community

Mrs Naomi Long United Community

Mr Trevor Lunn United Community

Mr Chris Lyttle United Community

Mr Speaker: I invite members of the Democratic Unionist Party to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Members gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Mr Maurice Bradley Unionist

Ms Paula Bradley Unionist

Mr Keith Buchanan Unionist

Mr Thomas Buchanan Unionist

Mr Jonathan Buckley Unionist

Ms Joanne Bunting Unionist

Mrs Pam Cameron Unionist

Mr Gordon Dunne Unionist

Mr Alex Easton Unionist

Mrs Arlene Foster Unionist

Mr Paul Frew Unionist

Mr Paul Girvan Unionist

Mr Paul Givan Unionist

Mr Simon Hamilton Unionist

Mr David Hilditch Unionist

Mr William Humphrey Unionist

Mr William Irwin Unionist

Ms Carla Lockhart Unionist

Mr Gordon Lyons Unionist

Miss Michelle McIlveen Unionist

Mr Gary Middleton Unionist

Mr Edwin Poots Unionist

Mr George Robinson Unionist

Mr Christopher Stalford Unionist

Mr Mervyn Storey Unionist

Mr Peter Weir Unionist

Mr Jim Wells Unionist

Mr Speaker: I invite members of the Green Party to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Members gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Mr Steven Agnew European

Ms Clare Bailey Feminist

Mr Speaker: I invite the member of the People Before Profit Alliance to come forward.

The following Member gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Mr Gerry Carroll Socialist

Mr Speaker: I invite the members of Sinn Féin to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Members gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Ms Caoimhe Archibald Nationalist

Mr Cathal Boylan Nationalist

Ms Michaela Boyle Nationalist

Ms Linda Dillon Nationalist

Ms Jemma Dolan Nationalist

Ms Sinéad Ennis Nationalist

Ms Megan Fearon Nationalist

Ms Órlaithí Flynn Nationalist

Ms Michelle Gildernew Nationalist

Mr Chris Hazzard Nationalist

Mr Declan Kearney Nationalist

Mr Gerry Kelly Nationalist

Mr Seán Lynch Nationalist

Mr Declan McAleer Nationalist

Ms Elisha McCallion Nationalist

Mr Fra McCann Nationalist

Mr Raymond McCartney Nationalist

Mr Barry McElduff Nationalist

Mr Philip McGuigan Nationalist

Mr Alex Maskey Nationalist

Mr Ian Milne Nationalist

Mr Conor Murphy Nationalist

Ms Carál Ní Chuilín Nationalist

Mr Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Nationalist

Mr John O'Dowd Nationalist

Mrs Michelle O'Neill Nationalist

Mr Pat Sheehan Nationalist

Mr Speaker: I invite the members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Members gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Ms Sinéad Bradley Nationalist

Mr Pat Catney Nationalist

Mr John Dallat Nationalist

Mr Mark Durkan Nationalist

Mr Colum Eastwood Nationalist

Ms Claire Hanna Nationalist

Mrs Dolores Kelly Nationalist

Ms Nichola Mallon Nationalist

Mr Daniel McCrossan Nationalist

Mr Patsy McGlone Nationalist

Mr Colin McGrath Nationalist

Mr Justin McNulty Nationalist

Mr Speaker: I invite the member of Traditional Unionist Voice to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Member gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Mr Jim Allister Unionist

Mr Speaker: I invite members of the Ulster Unionist Party to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Members gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Mr Steve Aiken Unionist

Mr Andy Allen Unionist

Mrs Rosemary Barton Unionist

Mr Doug Beattie Unionist

Mr Roy Beggs Unionist

Mr Alan Chambers Unionist

Mr Mike Nesbitt Unionist

Mr John Stewart Unionist

Mr Robin Swann Unionist

Mr Speaker: I invite Ms Claire Sugden to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

The following Member gave the undertaking and signed the Roll of Membership:

Ms Claire Sugden Unionist

Mr Speaker: Finally, I invite any Member present who has not already done so to come forward to give the undertaking and sign the Roll of Membership.

I thank Members for their cooperation and patience during the giving of the undertaking and the signing of the Roll of Membership. Any Member who has not been able to do that today may do so at a later date by appointment through the Speaker's office. Standing Order 3(6) states that my decision on whether a Member has taken his or her seat is final. I can make that decision only after examining all the undertakings and entries on the Roll. After the Assembly is adjourned and I have conducted my checks, in accordance with Standing Order 3(14), the Clerk will draw up a list of the party affiliations of Members who have taken their seat. The list will be communicated to Members via an all-party notice, a copy of which will be placed in Members' pigeonholes. I encourage you to ensure that your affiliation is entered correctly.

Having consulted the Whips and the representatives of the smaller parties, I can advise that the election of Speaker will take place as the first business at the next sitting.

Adjourned at 4.46 pm.

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