26 May 2006

British may put Assembly on hold


26/05/2006 - 12:23:28

The British government is believed to be planning to put the work of the Stormont Assembly on hold just two weeks after recalling the body as part of efforts to restore devolved government.

The move comes amid fears that the SDLP may decide to join Sinn Féin in boycotting debates at the Assembly.

Sinn Féin is refusing to take part in the debates because it claims the Assembly has been established without any real powers to make decisions on the items brought before it.

Pictures of empty nationalist benches are not the message the British government wants the world to see and northern secretary Peter Hain is believed to have planned no business for the Assembly next week.

Letters may shortly be sent to assembly members telling them the body will be on hold for the foreseeable future.

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