DUP’s Jim Wells faces expulsion over McArdle row

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A DUP politician is facing expulsion from the Assembly after making certain comments about the culture minister.

Jim Wells’ Stromont colleagues will vote next week on whether he should be excluded from the Assembly for one week.

The South Down MLA, due to succeed Edwin Poots as Health Minister, has refused to apologise for criticising Minister Caral Ni Chuilin and her former special adviser Mary McArdle.

The former assembly standards commissioner decided that Mr Wells had not show enough respect to the women.

It is predicted the unionist members of the Assembly will likely vote against exclusion.

It is thought the comments relate to Ms McArdle’s conviction for her part in the murder of a young schoolteacher in 1984.

There was outrage when it emerged Ms McArdle had been appointed to a role at Stormont.

In two separate encounters last summer Mr Wells made his views known face-to-face and vehemently to the minister and her then adviser.