South Belfast MP and member of the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee Claire Hanna MP has welcomed the committee’s support for a number of key SDLP proposals for the reform of the devolved institutions at Stormont.
The Committee has taken evidence from academics, political leaders and members of the public during its investigation into the operation of the devolved institutions and has today published a report which endorses proposals made by the SDLP to put an end to stop-start government that has let people down so badly over the last decade.
Speaking following the publication of the Committee report Claire Hanna MP said:
“There’s no one looking at the democratic institutions at Stormont with any degree of love or even confidence right now. What we’ve seen over the last few years is that people are genuinely grateful for, and proud of, the huge effort that secured peace 25 years ago but they’re also really sick of the way that the rules of government have been abused to score political points or settle scores. The peace process was the art of the possible, the politics that followed seems to be forever stuck in the impossible.
“The Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee report published today is the culmination of months of evidence sessions with academics, trade unions, political leaders and members of the public. I am glad to say that its recommendations reflect several of the SDLP core reform proposals aimed at protecting the principles of partnership and compromise while unlocking the politics of division and deadlock that have paralysed government and public services at the whim of any single party.
“Changing how the Assembly elects a speaker, equalising the titles of the First Ministers and reforming the process for electing them will make a substantial and substantive difference to the politics of this place. But most importantly, it will allow the Assembly to focus on the serious challenges that we should be uniting to face - repairing public services, delivering high quality childcare, addressing the climate crisis, reforming the economy and creating good jobs - rather than the narrow issues that divide people.
“We are determined to put politics back to work for everyone here and believe these ideas can help unlock progress if the DUP keeps blocking it.”