HC Deb 10 May 2004 vol 421 c109W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sanctions are available to the Government regarding the Independent Monitoring Commission Report and its conclusions in respect of Sinn Fein. [170455]

Mr. Spellar

Under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, as amended by the Northern Ireland (Monitoring Commission etc.) Act 2003 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Modification) Order 2004 (S.I. 2004/1164), my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, may take steps to reduce financial assistance to Assembly parties or the pay of Members of the Assembly for a period of up to 12 months if(a) the Monitoring Commission has made a report containing a recommendation about steps which are steps that the Assembly might consider taking were section 1 of the Northern Ireland Act 2000 not in force; and (b) the taking of those steps would have required the passing of an Assembly resolution in relation to a political party.

The Secretary of State must also be satisfied either that the party in question is not committed to nonviolence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or that the party is not committed to such of its Members as might become Ministers or junior Ministers observing the other terms of the pledge of office.

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