Gay blood ban lifted by Sinn Féin Minister for Health

With a new Northern Ireland Executive in office at Stormont following the recent election, it was hardly a surprise that there would be policy changes forthcoming. The new Health Minister, Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill has taken a bold step and reversed the former policy … Continue reading Gay blood ban lifted by Sinn Féin Minister for Health

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Homophobic incidents in the North of Ireland up by 12%

The number of homophobic incidents recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland has jumped by 12% in the last year, according to figures released in August. Catríona Ruane MLA, of Sinn Féin, raised the issue of homophobic crime at … Continue reading Homophobic incidents in the North of Ireland up by 12%

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Time for the politicians to decide: in or out of the Executive?

The simple question for all members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive is: Do I support the achievement of political ends by purely peaceful means or by terrorism and acts of violence? Continue reading Time for the politicians to decide: in or out of the Executive?

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Bomber Command Memorial damaged – appeal for funds from RAF Benevolent Fund

Following the attack on the Animals in War memorial and the Bomber Command memorial in London this weekend, the RAF Benevolent Fund has appealed to the public to support them in the maintenance of the Bomber Command Memorial for which … Continue reading Bomber Command Memorial damaged – appeal for funds from RAF Benevolent Fund

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Disappointed with Tim Farron or Naomi Long? I’m not…

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Following this afternoon’s vote in the debate on the third reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Christopher Lovell has expressed his disappointment at Tim Farron’s “abstention” today. It seems that Mr Lovell who lives in Leeds, not in Tim’s constituency, feels that because there is no vote recorded by Tim Farron in today’s debate, Tim abstained. I counter that this is not true. Tim did in fact, quite clearly not vote. It has been suggested by Erskine May that there is a procedure in Parliament to register an abstention: voting in both lobbies (Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 23rd edition, 2004, p412).

A House of Commons Briefing Paper, Divisions in the House of Commons, SN/PC/06401 states

If fewer than 40 Members, including the Speaker and the tellers, participate in a division, it does not meet the quorum required. The House then moves on to the next business, and the subject of the division is postponed until the next sitting day. Members who wish to defeat a particular item of business may engineer a division and then stay out of the lobbies, as they can thus render the division inquorate. Continue reading “Disappointed with Tim Farron or Naomi Long? I’m not…”

We’re being left behind in Northern Ireland: why I am a proud Liberal Democrat

This afternoon we have seen the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill pass its third reading in the House of Commons. Many people start claiming that Equal Marriage is home and dry. This is quite far from the case. The Bill … Continue reading We’re being left behind in Northern Ireland: why I am a proud Liberal Democrat

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