Assembly collapse inevitable, says Allister

TUV leader Jim Allister
TUV leader Jim Allister

The TUV say the collapse of the assembly was always inevitable because of how it is structured and that any fresh elections should be to an assembly without ‘mandatory coalition’, following Martin McGuinness’ resignation as deputy First Minister.

Mr Allister, speaking to press at Stormont after Mr McGuinness’ announced his resignation, said: “Mandatory coalition inevitably would implode. Today it has.

“It was always inevitable because it was a system incapable of working. And now that it has imploded there is no point in trying to glue back together the fragments of failure. It is time to move on. If we want devolution it can and should only be on a basis capable of surviving.

“That means devolution on the basis of voluntary, not mandatory coalition whereby the parties involved would have to be agreed about what they are doing before they go into government and then it might have a chance of succeeding.

“But mandatory coalition, whereby you don’t have to be agreed about anything, and then surprise-surprise the whole thing falls apart, is the road to nowhere. I say now is the time to face up to that reality and if we are to have an election then it be an election to an assembly where the effort to form government is on the basis of voluntary coalition.

“If the politicians of Northern Ireland aren’t yet mature enough to have a voluntary coalition then the alternative is for British ministers to step in as the Executive ministers but maintain the assembly as the law-making body and as the scrutiny body and thereby, unlike the last time, make direct rule accountable.”