20/01/2022

Proposal To Reintroduce 'Double Jobbing' Withdrawn

A proposal to reintroduce so-called 'double jobbing' – where MP's are allowed to be elected as MLAs and hold both jobs at the same time – have reportedly been scrapped.

Boris Johnson revealed that the proposal had been withdrawn during Prime Minister's Questions, when asked about the controversial plan by chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Simon Hoare.

'Double jobbing' was banned in 2016. Reintroduction of the practice would have benefitted DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who does not hold a seat at Stormont as he sits in Parliament as an MP. However, Sir Jeffrey has expressed his desire to stand for election in his home constituency of Lagan Valley, a move that would also allow him, if successful, to take up the role of First Minister. With the scrapping of the plan, to stand as an MLA, Sir Jeffrey will now have to stand down as an MP.
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The reintroduction of double jobbing was opposed by all other parties at Stormont.

Welcoming the withdrawal, Sinn Féin Vice President and deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill said: "Plans to bring back double-jobbing were unacceptable and the British government's about turn on this issue was the right thing to do.

"This was a cynical and crude attempt by Boris Johnson and the NIO to prop up the DUP and facilitate Jeffrey Donaldson's return to the Assembly.

"These plans did not reflect what was agreed by the parties and governments in New Decade, New Approach.

"They were roundly rejected and rightly opposed by the majority of Assembly parties and proves yet again that the DUP is out of step and the Tories out of order.

"Yesterday the local parties wrote jointly to Boris Johnson opposing this amendment, and today's Tory u-turn is a result of that cross-party opposition."


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