Northern Ireland

Law could see end to double jobbing MLAs

Image caption A few MLAs still hold dual mandates between Stormont and Westminster

Assembly members at Stormont will not be allowed to work as Members of Parliament at the same time after 2015.

The ban on double jobbing was confirmed in a draft law published on Monday by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The bill is also intended to allow those donating to political parties to remain anonymous until at least September 2014.

A few MLAs still hold dual mandates between Stormont and Westminster.

They include the DUP's Sammy Wilson and Gregory Campbell as well as the SDLP leader, Alasdair McDonnell.

The new legislation will mean they will have to give up one of their jobs by the end of this assembly term.

The bill follows a consultation process which also asked the public about a range of issues.

Those donating to political parties will be able to remain anonymous until at least September 2014 an exemption granted due to concerns that donors would not feel safe if their identity was known.

The public was asked about the prospect of having five year assembly terms but there was considerable opposition to this.

Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Vernon Coaker said: "I want to work constructively with the government on all of these matters and so I will look carefully at what is being proposed.

"It's important that the secretary of state keeps the executive and the assembly, as well as the Irish government, fully involved in taking forward this draft legislation."

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