SF will challenge ‘discriminatory legislation’

SINN Féin says it will challenge Jim Allister’s SPAD bill.

Tuesday, 4th June 2013, 10:04 am
Sinn Féin special advisor Paul Kavanagh. (3105MM20)

The Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) leader’s bill barring ex-prisoners from becoming special advisers to Stormont ministers was passed with support from unionists and the abstention of the SDLP after a rancourous debate on Monday (June 3).

If the Bill becomes law Paul Kavanagh - who acts as a SPAD to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and is married to Londonderry-based MEP Martina Anderson - will have to leave his post. Following the vote in Stormont it will now go to Buckingham Place for Queen Elizabeth II’s assent.

Republicans had hoped to convince the SDLP to sign a “petition of concern” to require that the Bill garner the support of a majority of nationalists and unionists in order to pass.

The Sentinel asked Sinn Féin if it would be seeking a judicial review if the Bill was passed.

A spokesperson told the paper: “Sinn Féin will not accept discriminatory legislation and it will be challenged.”