Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has called on East Antrim’s DUP MLAs to explain why they voted to support Sinn Fein’s Caitriona Ruane for the role of Principal Deputy Speaker, rather than the UUP’s Danny Kennedy.
Mr Beggs said: “After weeks and weeks of ‘Project Fear’ scaremongering from the DUP, I find it staggering that at the very first opportunity, the DUP decided to support a SF MLA who was up against a fellow Unionist.
“Alastair Ross, Gordon Lyons and David Hilditch all saw the apparent merits of appointing a SF member as opposed to a UUP principal deputy Speaker, with Alliance joining with the UUP in opposing the SF representative.
“In effect, the DUP have placed Caitriona Ruane in prime position as the next Speaker of the Assembly. Given the South Down MLAs active role in supporting the so called ‘Columbia Three’ who were detained whilst visiting the FARC terrorist group in the jungle, this is difficult to fathom.
“It would be helpful if Mr Ross, Mr Lyons and Mr Hilditch would explain their support in positioning Caitriona Ruane to be the next Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly?”