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Docking MLAs’ pay Brandon Lewis’ best bet for unruly DUP

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Brandon Lewis needs to put his money where his mouth is. A month ago, he pledged that MLAs’ salaries could be swiftly cut if the DUP didn’t lift its block on nominating a Speaker and allow the Assembly to function.

The secretary of state told me that he wouldn’t take the same relaxed stance as his predecessor had adopted on the Stormont stalemate.

“Karen (Bradley) is a very patient lady, far more patient than I am. We’ll see where we are in the next few weeks at most,” he said.

“I’ve had quite a lot already in the first week or so of the general public saying: ‘Why are we paying MLAs who aren’t taking their seats?’ I have a huge amount of sympathy for that.

“The idea that we’ve got MLAs (not doing) their jobs and yet still being paid, when we’ve got people struggling with the cost of living, I understand and I share their frustration and anger.”

Four weeks on and Mr Lewis is still sitting on his hands and has done diddly squat.

He is consistently rated as the worst politician here in LucidTalk opinion polls. In the most recent survey, 73% deemed his performance as bad or awful, with just 4% describing it as........

© Belfast Telegraph

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