Examination of Witness

Part of Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:02 pm ar 29 Mehefin 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance, North Down 2:02, 29 Mehefin 2021

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir David. A very warm welcome to you, Sir Jonathan. I will largely pick up on your answer to the questions posed by Colum Eastwood. You are one of the very rare officials with long experience of Northern Ireland over several different stints in office, so you have that wider perspective. You indicated that there might be a need to revise the rules around the institutions at some stage. Do you feel there is a danger of the Northern Ireland Office almost operating on a reactive basis after a problem has actually arisen and then trying to patch it up, amend it and move on for a few more years before going back to the next crisis? Is there not an argument for trying to be a little bit more proactive and anticipate where pressure points are likely to emerge, to assess how society is changing and to act accordingly? In that regard, should we look at some of the rules around the election of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, particularly in the light of the democratic change that we are seeing in society?Q