Northern Ireland

Douglas Bain rules himself out of Sinn Féin inquiry

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly made the speech in Castlederg, County Tyrone, earlier this month

The Assembly Standards Commissioner Douglas Bain has decided he cannot investigate a complaint about comments made by a Sinn Féin MLA.

The remarks were made by Gerry Kelly at a republican commemoration in Castlederg, County Tyrone.

Mr Bain has told the TUV that because of his membership of the Parades Commission, someone else should be appointed to handle their complaint.

The TUV and DUP said the remarks breached the Stormont code of conduct.

The two parties complained to the Assembly Standards Commissioner that the remarks had broken "the Stormont code of conduct by glorifying terrorism and damaging community relations".

However, Douglas Bain believes he cannot investigate the matter because his membership of the Parades Commission would lead to concerns about his impartiality.

Mr Bain is recommending that someone else should be appointed to handle the complaint.

The TUV leader Jim Allister said this meant the assembly would incur extra costs.

He said Mr Bain should quit his position on the Parades Commission.

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