Thursday, June 23, 2005


SDLP accused over Grand Committee

The nationalist SDLP were today accused of blocking moves for a special House of Commons committee to have sittings in Northern Ireland.

During Business Questions in the House of Commons, Democratic Unionist deputy leader Peter Robinson urged the Leader of the House Geoff Hoon to use his influence to end what he claimed was a boycott of the province by the 43-strong Northern Ireland Grand Committee.

The East Belfast MP said afterwards: "The Grand Committee has never met in Northern Ireland because it is being blocked by the SDLP.

"SDLP members are being inconsistent in that they attend select committee meetings in Northern Ireland yet sought to veto the Grand Committee from meeting in the province."

But while the Grand Committees for Scotland and Wales have met in Edinburgh and Cardiff, Belfast has never hosted the Northern Ireland committee.

Mr Hoon acknowledged the DUP deputy leader’s comments, telling him: "Those responsible in the House will have noted what the Honourable Member said."


So the "Grand Committee" has never met in Ireland's north. So what? Robinson's making a big fuss over nothing.

I suggest Mr Robinson spend more time focusing on getting the institutions in Ireland's north up and running again!


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