MLAs recalled to Stormont Assembly in latest bid to elect speaker

MLAs have returned to Stormont in the latest attempt to elect a new speaker.

It comes after Sinn Féin sought an 'urgent recall' of the Assembly on Wednesday to debate the cost of living crisis and delays to £600 energy payments.

The party urging the DUP to end its boycott of the institutions in protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

On Monday, the speaker Alex Maskey confirmed the Sinn Féin motion has received the support of 30 MLAs.

He said: "I remind members that only the business submitted on the notice can be dealt with at this recall and if the Assembly is unable to elect a speaker and deputy speakers, it cannot proceed to debate the motion."

UK Energy Minister Graham Stuart has said he is aiming to deliver the energy payment by January.

Meanwhile the secretary of state has reaffirmed his intention to cut MLA pay by more than a quarter.

Legislation was enacted giving Chris Heaton-Harris the powers to make the 27.5% cut.

The new law also allows for the period within which a Northern Ireland Executive can be formed to be extended beyond six months.

The new deadline is 19 January 2023.

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