16/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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You're watching a specially extended BBC Newsline,


An election is called as the Stormont crisis heats up.


No one should underestimate the challenge faced to the political


institutions here in Northern Ireland. And what is at stake.


I'm live at Stormont with reaction and analysis on how


Our political editor Mark Devenport will give his take on the collapse


And we'll hear live from the parties as the blame game continues.


They will take everybody for them as encouragement that they can bring


down the Northern Ireland executive whenever they don't get their own


way, whatever the cost to Northern Ireland. We have called in the Times


the behaviour of the DUP and we look forward to giving the public their


say on these matters. The political crisis means no


budget has been agreed. We'll be examining the impact that


could have on the purse strings. Also on the programme a former pupil


is charged with the manslaughter of this 13-year-old in a school


playground two years ago. And it is milder but not don't be


counting on a lot of sunshine. The 2nd of March, the date


of an Assembly election. Exactly a week after


Martin McGuinness resigned as the Deputy First Minister,


Sinn Fein failed to put forward a replacement by today's deadline


and so it was left to the Secretary of State to take the next step


and he called an election. He called on the parties to work


towards re-establishing a Government But it's clear that many problems


remain to be resolved Let's get the latest


from the Assembly. BBC Newsline's Tara


Mills is at Stormont. It's one week on from


the drama of last week And within the last hour we've had


that announcement from the Secretary Our political editor


Mark Devenport is here. What else did he have to say? He


really was left with little choice but to call an election, that is


what the law states he must do. What he basically said is that he


acknowledged this could be a divisive election campaign that he


was reminding the parties of their responsibilities, hoping that


somehow they can moderate some of the brittle exchanges which have


been predicted with a mind to piecing things together on the other


side of the election. It here what he had to say. No one should


underestimate the challenge faced to the political institutions here in


Northern Ireland and what is at stake. While it is inevitable that


debate during an election period will be intense, I would strongly


encourage the political parties to conduct this election with a view to


the future of Northern Ireland and re-establishing a partnership


government at the earliest opportunity after that poll. This is


essential to the operation of devolved government and this means


that all must remain open to dialogue. Despite all of this, there


is still some action in the assembly chamber? James Brokenshire has given


the assembly a bit longer. We thought he might bring the shutters


down this week but they are going to work on Toby end of next week and


that it had an effect on things here today. We thought they would make at


breakneck decision on Simon Hamilton 's plan but in the last little


while, they have adjourned that and said they will come back to that


next week although not because there were some explosive allegations made


by the former minister Jonathan Bell who once again highlighted what he


claims is the role of DUP advisers in relation to this scheme. Now they


are getting onto the equally fractious manner of debating a


no-confidence motion brought by Sinn Fein in the speaker, Robin Newton,


over his handling of last months because assembly session here. What


about dates, but do-gooders need to be an mind? If you want to take part


in this snap election, if you are not put off by this negativity, you


should remember February 14, Valentine's Day but in relation to


our not particularly lovey-dovey election, it is also the deadline


for voters to register. There is an earlier deadline if you want a


postal or proxy vote of February ten but the all-important date is March


two is voting day and after that, we have a three-week period and that is


when the government will have their work cut out to try and put Humpty


Dumpty back together again and tried to restore devolution here.


After the surprises of last week today we had a better idea of where


this was going with Sinn Fein not re-nominating a candidate


So how did the Fresh Start between Sinn Fein and the DUP


Our political correspondent Enda McClafferty charts


We have had political break-ups at Stormont before


Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness's relationship has been


in meltdown for months and today their power-sharing pact was reduced


They even struggled to face each other across the chamber floor.


This is the moment their separation was rubber-stamped.


One was prepared to stay and the other wanted out.


I am nominating Arlene Foster to be the First Minister. It has her


rightful position. I am not alone because the DUP says that, but


because 200,000 people in the country see it. We, as a DUP, we


will decide who the leader of our party is. Not someone else sitting


in this chamber. Today it Sinn Fein will not be nominated for the


position of Deputy First Minister. Sinn Fein has honoured all


agreements, we have striven to make these institutions work. Martin


McGuinness has acted at all times with integrity, with dignity and


with respect. Moments later Martin McGuinness left


the chamber, leaving many to wonder if he had played his


last political hand. While Arlene Foster faced up


to her next challenge, blaming Sinn Fein for sending voters


back to the polls. They have forced an election that


risks Northern Ireland 's future and it stability and since nobody apart


from themselves. They will take every vote for them as an


encouragement that they can bring down the Northern Ireland executive


whenever they don't get their own way up the cost to Northern Ireland,


Big Yin and again and again and again. Today we have called time on


the arrogance of the DUP and their behaviour in these institutions. We


have done so because we can no longer accept how these institutions


will be treated with contempt and continue today to be treated with


contempt by the DUP which in turn treats the public with contempt. For


our part, Sinn Fein and barking McGuinness have stretched ourselves


to the limits to try and keep these institutions working. They have been


let down by the did behaviour of the big DUP, in the Jewish and of Tory


policies and inaction of the Irish front.


In fact Martin McGuinness phoned the Prime Minister Theresa May this


morning to let her know how much he felt let down by the government.


Though the clock is now ticking, the speaker Robin Newton


will still face a vote of no confidence in the


He will survive as his party, the DUP, is


planning to use a petition of concern to keep him in office.


The class of 20 02 new all about stop start politics but this is


going to be a new experience for those MLAs bathing Stormont this


week not knowing when or if they might return. As they know,


collapsing the institutions is the easy part, bringing them back and


rebuilding trust is the real challenge and that is the test


awaiting our politicians on the other side of the election. Let's


hear it now from the DUP and Sinn Fein. What can you tell us? We have


not made the motion because the DUP have introduced apparition of


concern and I take it the 11th hour of this assembly, the introduction


of this shows that the DUP have not learned anything from the last six


weeks, they have not woken to the reality that their arrogance of the


denial of democratic rights of others in this chamber and society


is not acceptable so we have decided not to move the motion this evening


and we will not involve ourselves in a debate which is effectively


blocked. Does that achieve anything? Our views on the speaker have not


changed, our views on the DUP have not changed but it does show that we


will not be a ourselves to be drawn in to meeting with this debate in


the assembly and after the elections we will not a ourselves to be drawn


into meaningless discussions with parties who are not serious about


equality or change or sharing the spread of the island with the rest


of the people. If Robin Newton off the hook for now? What this is about


is Sinn Fein using all of these issues to distract from the core


agenda that they have and they have outlined that repeatedly now around


equality, the Trojan horse to break unionism. They feel they can use RHI


now as a reason to go to the country because they believe that will


inflict damage. Is it not a good reason given the amount of money


involved? I want to get to the truth of that, I want an inquiry and


should be no hiding place for anybody and Arlene Foster has made


that clear but they are using that to try and undo what happened only


eight months ago when our party came back with over 200,000 boats and key


Republican demands that they are insisting upon, they have not


delivered. Everybody needs to respect each other's mandates but


that cuts both ways. Sinn Fein are ticking down these institutions


because they want to break unionism and we're going out into an election


that will ultimately lead to negotiations and they want to have


rolled over unionism and this party will be putting forward a strong


team, recognising that we are beer being tested as never before by


Republicans and we will continue to hold our ground. There will be a


different strategy this time, it will not be team Arlene? Arlene


Foster is leading our party into these elections. She was voted in as


the First Minister because that is what the public voted for. Will it


be the same this time the flag is whimsical and had an election, Sinn


Fein are using the ballot box strategy to continue to pursue their


key Republican objectives and we will continue to use the ballot box


to get a mandate to represent the people who elect us so we will put


people first, our country first, Sinn Fein are putting party first to


pursue their key goals. Do you want give them be to get up and running


again? We do, we want a functioning, working assembly vote on the


foundations of the Good Friday agreement on the other agreements we


have worked out with the other parties and the British and Irish


Lions a month. There is a responsibility on us all to get


these institutions up and running again but they have to be built on a


firmer foundation on an agreement. You don't wait ten years to


implement parts of the agreement or make boasts about blocking of the


agreement. The agreement. There is a responsibility in local parties but


also in the British government in relation to legacy issues. James


Brokenshire and the British government are also part of the


problem. You said in November that you will not deserve the electorate,


you will not leave the electorate with a long period of direct rule,


only three months ago? We are not deserting the electorate. You have


real concerns you will get agreement with your partners in government?


Everyone has commented on this. It is now over to the electorate to


make decisions about the future of this society. What are they putting


for? They are voting for accountability, ensuring the


corruption, whether alleged or other ways, is held to account. Are they


voting for a Stormont assembly or direct rule? They are voting for the


working institutions of the Good Friday agreement but the emphasis is


on working. Joint authority, is that possible to? I know that what Mike


Nesbitt has said but if you vote for him,, that is not our position. Sinn


Fein are clear on what they are trying to do, they are walking away


from this difficulty for political advantage when they cost us ?174


million over welfare reform, we won't go away -- we didn't walk


away. They are using RHI is a distraction from the core agenda


they have. That is to weaken unionism and the public know what


that is about. Is he seriously suggesting that Unionist viewers


watching this tonight are going to accept the fact that the DUP put


together a package which is costing the taxpayer four million ? the


leader of the party is refusing to step aside without prejudice and


allow and encourage take place? Don't believe that is what unionism


or nationalism is about. The final point from you. Remarkably, Sinn


Fein think they know what Unionists believe that reminds me of a story


in the Bible about the man who built the gallows for Mordechai believing


that which lead to their downfall. They know the plot they are trying


to conspire against the DUP and to weaken unionism and they will rally


around the calls that we will go to the country for. What about the


analysis that you don't want Stormont on running again? It is the


agreements that we have signed up to in the last ten years and that is


working, functioning as it uses of the Good Friday agreement but all


the parties have to deliver and that includes the British and are


government 's and the DUP. We believe we can govern ourselves


better than anyone else. But we cannot govern ourselves with


corruption at the heart. Alleged corruption? Alleged financial


corruption but certainly political corruption in the last couple of


years so do we want working instructions? Of course but they can


only work on the basis of the agreement upon which they were


built. When Sinn Fein don't get their way, the President has now


been set, they will bring the institutions down because they will


not respect democratic will of the people in order to force the agenda


that they have so the public have a clear choice, do they reward Sinn


Fein 's bad behaviour or do they respect the results that happened


only eight months ago was like we have put forward a strong case to


the public because Sinn Fein want to break us and the unionist people


know that and we will be resolute in the face of it. I share the concerns


around RHI, that is why we are trying to do with it. Plenty of time


over the next few weeks to have an election campaign. Let's hear from


the opposition parties now. Danny Kennedy, is that the case that a


vote for the UUP will lead to joint authority?


Absolutely not. We're made it abundantly clear that we would not


support any prospect of joint authority. Let me say, this is a


deeply depressing day that the people of Northern Ireland and for


the electorate who are watching this and the spectacle of the collapse of


the political institutions that have been so hard-fought four and so much


demanded. But you walked away from those institutions. The sole


responsibility for that breakdown as a collective failure, a DUP and Sinn


Fein failure of working cohesively together. Added that, unacceptable


manner in which an R a H I scheme has been allowed to continue. It is


time for the electorate to give its verdict on RHI and the appalling


loss of potential monies to the Northern Ireland executive. It is


time now for change any Ulster Unionist Party will fight a


constructive election campaign seeking change. This is a good


opportunity the body, but do you think you have a different methods


of the one Sinn Fein is putting out? A very different message. It is very


worrying that we are now clearly adding to to election but also


allowing it to collapse. I genuinely want to get these institutions up


and running again. Especially people vote for the same old. If they vote


for the DUP amateur volley Sinn Fein, they know what they're going


to get. They broke the ground, then we can work together. Can you


imagine a coalition again? The old party without a 2-party system? It


is not about seeds France. It is about delivery. -- seats for us. We


told them that they couldn't deliver. We told the more the things


that Sinn Fein are now saying they are all annoyed about. Sinn Fein did


listen and the DUP didn't listen. It only took seven months of proper


accountability for this Government to collapse, that tells you


everything you need to know. When it comes the next step then, can you


imagine a situation when we will have this act together and have The


Assembly running again? That is done to the public. They have an


opportunity to make decisions to who want the -- to who they want to send


back to The Assembly. We did not bring them down. We have been


consistent in our support for these institutions. When talking about


plan B what should happen next, the only thing that the public want is


that these institutions should work. We want people who will be


transparent and accountable and who are enthusiastic about taking


responsibility and taking power and do the work on behalf of the people


who do electors. Eight months is a disgrace for a Government to fall


apart and to see people so gleefully electioneering as they have been


this afternoon when has been a huge collapse under huge uncertainty


about the future of Northern Ireland I think is disgraceful. We will be


back a bit later in the programme with the latest on the RHI


legislation debate. The current Assembly


comes to an early end without agreeing a budget for start


of the new financial year in April. A senior civil servant has warned


that could lead to a huge range of difficulties,


particularly for the health service. Our Economics and Business Editor


John Campbell is here. No budget in place,


no likelihood of one What happens is what the senior


civil servant is trying to spell out to MLA today, mist or Stirling


struck an optimistic note saying that there will be election which


will give a few weeks to potentially put an executive back together again


and agree a budget just in time before the start of the financial


year in April. That means he is a bit more optimistic than many people


around Stormont. An executive can't be put together, then there will be


enormous powers for him. On the 29th of March, we will have access to 75%


of this year's budget. Immediately on hand, public services will


continue to operate even if there is a Government no budget agreed. What


does that mean for the running of the departments? The normal business


of Stormont? Even though mist or Stirling was people he said it was a


very unsatisfactory situation. He precisely set up there with the


Government in place for a prolonged period of time, part a couple of


months, that would pose a huge range of difficult as in a wide range of


areas. They gave it wide a specific example which was the hill fog


service. In other words, the Department of Health is a huge


department and has half of the budget. They need to have certainty


at the start of the year so they can plan the certainties. If there is no


budget in place, that will cause difficulties to services majority


under pressure. And there's also a big


issue with rates bills, Mist or Stirling will get access to


a huge range of powers. Setting rates is one of those. It is a piece


of legislation which allows people to levy tax on business and


households. If there is no power to collect those raids, then what


happens? There is contingency ban in place, usually the rates are


collected over a ten month period, so could be possible than rather


gaining your rates in April, it could be made or June and you're


paying the ten months after that. That is the initial contingency


plan. If there was no money coming in, what are the councils do? Mr


Stirling said he could make money available to them for at least a


couple of months. He was emphasising that can only be a very short-term


solution, it if this runs on much more Cejudo or early July, there


will be a relief budget crunch. When he was hinting at if there is no


executive or budget in place at the end of July, then a minister would


have two step in and impose a budget to avoid a complete collapse of the


budget. The MLAs have been


debating the bedroom tax As Mark Davenport was saying


earlier, the renewable eat plan was -- eat plan was just in time to the


severed comeback next week and scrutinise that properly. You could


still get a financial resolution before the election. The bedroom


tax, the regulations have gone through, so that means the


mitigation is in place for the bedroom tax. So, people who feared


they might lose out, they will not. That has been sorted.


Two years after the death of a 13-year-old Fermanagh boy


following a playground incident, a former pupil at his school


has appeared in court charged with manslaughter.


Our South West reporter Julian Fowler was at the hearing


Oisin McGrath died four days after an incident at this college in


Francis Maude Dermot was in the sixth form at the


The 19-year-old is accused of unlawful killing.


The family were in court and the defence


asked to express continuing sympathy to them, saying that what had


happened had devastated two families.


The solicitor said that Francis would carry


the memory and effect of what


happened in the schoolyard that day with him for the rest of his life.


He said that he was instructed to minimise the pain the justice


process would have for the McGrath family.


Sentiments which the judge said were laudable in an


extremely difficult set of circumstances.


Francis Maude Dermot confirmed he understood the charge


and when asked if he had anything to


He was released on bail for ?500 and will appear in


Efforts to stop the closure of a GP practice in Portadown have failed.


A contractor withdrew from the process.


Bannview practice faced closure after its last


Our Health Correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly reports.


At one time there were four full-time GPs working from this


Portadown practice caring for around 5,200 men, women and children.


the years as GPs retired, they were not replaced.


Despite the warning signs, after Christmas the last


remaining GP resigned saying she could no longer cope with the


Nearby practices told the BBC they were too overstretched


and unable to take on the patients and instead it was left in the hands


of the Health and Social Care Board to fix.


While a contract has been found, late this afternoon it emerged


that that GP has now withdrawn from the contract.


the health minister said: the move was extremely


disappointing and that she has called for an urgent meeting with


the Health and Social Care Board to ensure patients receive high-quality


The statement added that the health board will continue


to manage the practice until a new contractor is appointed.


It is not ideal that locums could be in charge


Patients those who are older often require someone who knows their


Unless problems are addressed, the BMA is warning this


Nearly 400 people were arrested for drink-driving in


Northern Ireland over Christmas, that's a slight fall on last year.


The police say warned hundreds of others


who tested positive for alcohol but were within the legal limit.


But today a senior police officer said many people are still ignoring


They will face fines, they will face disqualifications, some of them may


even lose their jobs and will not be able to travel and will be looking


at increased insurance bills. Hopefully it will be a stain for


people who know them socially, as well.


Between the end of November and the start of this


month, the police tested nearly 11,000 drivers.


That's more than twice as many as last year.


Of these, 383 were found to be over the alcohol limit, a marginal


In addition to the arrests, nearly 300 others received warnings


after testing positive for alcohol but within the legal limit.


The youngest offender this year was 17 years of age and the eldest 80.


The spam is right across the country and right across ages. Some


ridiculously high reading to people should be having medical digital to


-- medical difficulties let alone getting behind the wheel of a


vehicle. Police say anyone


who's drank even a small amount of alcohol should


never consider driving. A west Belfast man who denies


being Britain's former top spy inside the IRA is now facing


at least 20 separate lawsuits. The scale of litigation against


Freddie Scappaticci was revealed Writs have been issued


in a series of cases involving claims of kidnapping


and interrogating Mr Scappaticci left Nothern Ireland


in 2003 after being identified The police have asked for the civil


hearings to be delayed for two years because of an ongoing


criminal investigation. A man who sexually abused


an altarboy at the Clonard Novena in Belfast was spared


a jail sentence after Martin Cassidy was placed


on Probation for three years after he admitted abusing


the altarboy in 1988. Belfast Crown Court


was told that the 67-year old from Orchard Mews in Befast


was volunteering at the Novena at the request of his brother,


who at the time was a priest. We are on a bit longer this evening


because of the events at Stormont on the announcement of an assembly


election on the 2nd of March. We also have an extended late news at


half past ten tonight. Back to what has been happening at The Assembly


where they have been discussing the renewable heat incentive scheme. The


former enterprise Minister at the DUP has been addressing MLAs. This


is what he has to say. I believe these matters can be investigated in


this week, alongside the very first piece of information given to me in


the ministerial office. By the DUP, party officer appointed special


adviser Timothy Kearns that you will not be allowed to reduce the tariff


on the scheme because Timothy Johnson special adviser to the First


Minister and John Robertson special adviser to the DUP and now special


adviser to the column Minister has such interest in the poultry


industry, it is not been allowed on the agenda. I have the records in


many formats. This party has suspended me for telling the truth


while I give a First Minister and the deputy leader and the chairman


of the party all the information about this. People who are sitting


beside and behind them have much more serious offences. The special


adviser to the First Minister, Timothy Johnson, said, I have no


family connections to the poultry industry and I have no connection to


the RHI scheme, these are unsubstantiated allegations. I have


two brothers nor in the poultry industry and they have no connection


to the scheme. John Robinson the former DUP director to


communications now special adviser to the economy Minister Simon


Hamilton said I have no personal interest in the poultry industry,


two of my brothers are poultry farmers, but they have no


connections to RHI. Now sport, Stephen Watson's


here with news of new faces Ulster have announced two


new player signings today. The South African international back


row Arno Botha and the Connacht scrum-half John Cooney both


will join the province on two-year In the immediate future, Ulster have


just their Pro12 campaign to focus on after they were knocked out


of Europe yesterday And the European adventure ends the


Ulster, for the third season in a row, the side have failed to qualify


for the quarterfinal stages of the northern hemisphere's premier


competition. They said their intentions out early. And despite


some flashes of poised power and precision from this New Zealander,


the English premiership side turned the screw in the second half,


dominating territory and possession, citing their way through the Ulster


defence. Ulster 's European theatre was sealed when Jackson was yellow


carded in the closing minutes for a deliberate knock-on with the referee


awarding a penalty try, another defeat for Ulster, there is in the


last 12 games. Rory McIlroy has been forced to withdraw from the Abu


Dhabi championship after tests revealed he has sustained a rib


injury. He picked up the injury in South Africa last week. He thought


he had a back injury played through the pain yesterday only to lose


against Graeme storm. He had started the day three shots behind him but


five birdies in a final round of 68 to get to three extra holes before


the Englishman prevailed. Rory McIlroy will now commence


revalidation and will return to golf when he is fully recovered from that


stress fracture. Finally, snooker and Mark Allen has


beaten John Higgins 6-5 in the first round of the Masters in London. It


was quite a game today. That's the sport.


police in Craigavon have been kicking up a storm over a recent


Officers there issued a wanted posted for BBC


Weather Presenter Barra Best at the weekend - saying he had


destroyed the dreams of children and cops.


They even offered a reward of two doughnuts for his capture!


We've not been able to find him today, but Angie might be


able to shine some light on his whereabouts.


No more snow any more but it has turned milder. It looks as though


we're in for quite a settled and quiet week compared to last week


because we have high pressure in charge apart from some this evening.


Not a lot of rain in the forecast and maybe one or two bright spells


but generally a lot of cloud and things will cool down again later in


the week. Today it was mild and plenty of cloud. Some breaks towards


the East so in Newcastle we had the odd bit of blue sky. The mist


lifting and even some sunshine on the top of the lead honoured with


temperatures of 80 degrees there today. That cloud has been piling in


again as the weather front approaches. It is bringing in rain


throughout edge of Northern Ireland throughout the course of this


evening. It clears the way and we are left with a dry night, quite


misty but frost free. Those of around 7 degrees. Tomorrow the odd


spot of drizzle but a lot of dry weather. A lot of cloud as well and


it is likely to be quite a dull and grey start but hopefully as we go


through the day, we will see that lifting off the hills. That is when


we might get the odd ride a spell but we are looking at more cloud


than sunshine but looking pretty mild with temperatures of ten or 11


degrees. We hold onto that mild area into tomorrow night with still a lot


of cloud and dry weather around. Temperatures of around five or 6


degrees. Then on Wednesday, apart from the odd spot of just all, it is


looking miles. That trend continues through the rest of the week, a few


bright spells but after the cloudy and mainly dry.


The MLAs are thinking about the election but they have fought to get


through before that. They have put off until next week any discussion


of that eating plan, the plan from Simon Hamilton to recover some of


the potential losses of the renewable heating scheme, but won't


happen until next week. But they got onto this business of no confidence


in the assembly Speaker Robin Uden. That was a Sinn Fein motion. Then


they said because the DUP had put down their veto, they were going to


pull it but right now, we in a short adjournment, the MLAs are returning


at 7:30 as there is debate as whether it has gone past the point


of return. We heard from Sinn Fein in the DUP and it was quite heated.


Have had these statements from James Brokenshire and also from the Irish


Foreign Minister that they want these parties to be respectful of


each other in this election campaign. I think essentially that


we will have a tough election campaign. We have a Valentines day


registration date and that will be the only lovely Debbie thing about


this campaign. We will have all the latest on a bit


bulletin at 10:30. That was newsline on the day and election was cold by


the 2nd of March. Power sharing collapsed over a row over the RHI


which could cause tax payers nearly half ?1 billion.


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