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Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan has questioned why the Justice Minister has not made a statement to the Assembly following her decision not to even investigate whether Gerry Kelly MLA should be removed from the Policing Board following a tweet which she described as offensive and thoroughly inappropriate.

Mr Givan raised the matter in a Point of Order at the start of business in the Assembly today.


Commenting afterwards he said, "The Justice Minister slipped out her statement on Friday afternoon claiming there were insufficient grounds to even investigate Gerry Kelly's outrageous and offensive comments in relation to the Maze escape.

On the day that Sgt Matt Ratana was murdered in Croydon, Gerry Kelly was revelling in an event which saw a Prison Officer stabbed and ultimately lose his life.

Many have rightly said the Minister should publish the legal advice upon which her decision was based. However, her commitment to transparency has not even extended to allowing MLAs to scrutinise and question her about that advice or any other aspect of this issue.

This is clearly a matter of significant public interest and instead of attempting to deflect blame onto an informal process within the Policing Board the Minister should make herself accountable to answer questions as the only person with any legal power to take action in this area."