Northern Ireland

Jim Allister barred from speaking in assembly after clash with Roy Beggs

TUV leader Jim Allister
Image caption Jim Allister has been banned from speaking in the assembly until 10 November

Jim Allister has been barred from speaking in the Northern Ireland Assembly for a month due to a clash with a deputy speaker.

The TUV leader was told on Tuesday that his behaviour towards Roy Beggs was among the worst the assembly had seen.

The deputy principal speaker, Mitchel McLaughlin, said the North Antrim MLA had breached standing orders.

He has been banned from speaking in the chamber until 10 November.

Mr McLaughlin said the the breach occurred when Mr Allister challenged the consistency of how Mr Beggs had chaired a session in the assembly and had suggested that the deputy speaker had acted at the behest of a clerk.

He said Mr Allister has had several warnings in the past and while he would welcome an apology to the house, he did not expect one to be forthcoming.

"I know the member will try and spin this," added Mr McLaughlin.

"Let me be clear, this is all about his behaviour to the chair and his behaviour towards deputy speaker Beggs last week and it was among the worst we have seen in this assembly."

Mr Allister was subsequently refused an opportunity to reply unless he apologised.

In a statement, he said the ban was a "gross and disproportionate infringement of the rights of those who elected me".

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