MINUTES OF THE
THE ASSEMBLY COMMISSION
AT 02.30 PM IN ROOM 106
Mr Stephen Moutray
Mr Paul Butler
Rev Robert Coulter
Mr Alban Maginness
Mr Sean Neeson
Mrs C Devon, Mr T Logue, Mr R Good, Ms S McClelland and Ms C Foster.
The Speaker welcomed members to the meeting of the Assembly Commission to discuss issues surrounding a number of planned events within Parliament Buildings and thanked members for attending at short notice.
POLITICALLY SENSITIVE EVENTS
The Interim Clerk/Director General briefed Members on issues relating to the use of Parliament Buildings when hosting potentially politically sensitive events. She spoke to a paper which outlined the handling of such events on previous occasions and reported on the Commission’s/Secretary of State’s previous decisions, including any restrictions implemented, in each instance.
Ms McClelland informed the Commission of the details of several forthcoming potentially politically sensitive events and outlined the regulations currently in operation for booking Parliament Buildings to host any such events.
The Commission was invited to consider:
- reviewing existing events guidance and policies within the framework of the Engagement Strategy;
- building on the existing precedent for using Parliament Buildings for politically sensitive events;
- ensuring that any review of events guidance and policy would be:
- compatible with the draft Equality Scheme for the Assembly; and
- compatible with, and complementary to any new Good Relations Policy and Strategy.
- a moratorium on any such events, for a limited period, to allow for the above to take place.
Mr Moutray asked that the event proposed for Friday 7 March should not take place.
Mr Maginness suggested that in the absence of a clear policy, it would be best to move to a moratorium to allow for the development of a good relations policy. Mr Moutray agreed to such a moratorium, with the proviso that all events would be postponed in the interim period. Mr Maginness also proposed that both Parties voluntarily withdraw proposals for politically sensitive events
The Speaker invited Members to consider the issues raised in the paper and it was agreed that, following consultations within party groups, the issues would be given further consideration at a re-convened meeting of the Commission later in the week.
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 pm