MLAs will return to Stormont in an attempt to pass the organ donation law

The Stormont Assembly will be recalled later in an attempt to pass a new law on organ donation in Northern Ireland.

Rival parties are trying to increase the pressure on the DUP to end its boycott of devolution, but the unionist party has said it will again block any attempt to elect a speaker.

The recall petition is trying to get MLAs to implement a new organ donation refusal law inspired by the six-year-old boy from Belfast, Daithi MacGavin, who is waiting for a heart transplant.

A petition sent by the leader of Sinn Féin in Stormont, Michelle O’Neill, last week obtained the signatures of 30 MLAs to receive the memory of the institutions affected by the crisis, which will take place at 12pm.

Several attempts to restore the Assembly have already failed because the DUP did not support electing a speaker at the start of the sittings.


DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said his party would not support the election of a speaker at Stormont, meaning no further business can be done (Brian Lawless/PA)

Without a speaker, the Assembly cannot proceed with further business.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has confirmed that his party will again block the election of a speaker on Tuesday.

The largest unionist party in the region has refused to contact the devolved institutions in Belfast since the Assembly election last May, which means that it has not been possible to establish a ministerial executive.

The boycott is part of the DUP’s campaign against the Northern Ireland Brexit Protocol and the party says it will not return to power sharing until decisive action is taken to end the protocol’s economic barriers to trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland .

Negotiations are continuing between the UK Government and the EU to resolve differences regarding the protocol.

Organ donation legislation

Daithi McGavann is awaiting a heart transplant (Liam McBurney/PA)

MLAs adopted the rejected organ donation system last year, but the secondary legislation needed to implement it cannot be approved in the Assembly due to the current political situation.

The opt-out system would mean that adults in Northern Ireland would be considered donors, unless they decide to opt out. It is being implemented to increase donation rates in the region.

If the Assembly cannot pass the secondary legislation, the focus will then be on Westminster where the DUP has introduced an amendment to the Government Executive Formation Bill to facilitate the passage of the regulations.

The Bill deals with the legislation required to extend the deadline for holding a new Assembly election in Northern Ireland.

It will be up to the Minister’s Office in Westminster to decide whether to approve the DUP’s proposed amendment to the organ donation regulations.

The NIO has cast doubt on the prospect of approval, saying the scope of the Bill is very narrow.

Color Law

Martin McGovern is appealing to Northern Ireland politicians to reject the organ donation law (Liam McBurney/PA)

An NIO spokesman said: “The Department of Health has laid down the statutory rule to enable the Assembly to take the legislation forward, which means that the election of a speaker would allow this important piece of life-saving legislation to be addressed this week. this.

“The Executive Formation Bill is entirely focused on the formation period of the Executive and the corresponding election duty of the secretary of state and, therefore, there is only one substantive clause.

“The scope of the Bill is therefore very narrow, and it is unlikely that amendments to issues other than the formation period of the Executive will be within the scope.

“The secretary of state is urging the parties of Northern Ireland to come together on this and reminds them that the people of Northern Ireland expect and deserve the devolved institutions to function fully.”

Daithi underwent another heart procedure in England last week.

His father, Martin McGavann, has asked politicians in Northern Ireland to do everything they can to enforce the law.

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