Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

New suspension for Adams comments

Nelson McCausland
Nelson McCausland was ordered to leave the assembly

There have been angry exchanges between the speaker of the assembly, William Hay and members of his party, the DUP.

It happened after he suspended DUP MLA Nelson McCausland for the second time when he refused to withdraw allegations about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The North Belfast MLA was suspended last November for claiming Mr Adams had been a leading IRA member.

He was ruled to have made further "unparliamentary remarks" during a debate last week.

"I was quoting from a book published by the IRA, which I now intend to place in the assembly library where everyone can read it for themselves," Mr McCausland said.

He said Mr Adams had been a member of an IRA delegation involved in talks with the government in 1972.

Mr McCausland was applauded and cheered from the chamber by DUP members as the speaker called for order.

Several members of the party, including Sammy Wilson, then questioned the speaker on when they could quote from source material.

It also emerged the speaker was not asking Mr Adams to withdraw allegations he made about a DUP member - Mervyn Storey - even though they were untrue.

DUP chief whip Lord Morrow said he found this strange

"We (the DUP) do feel that we are being victimised," he said.

Sinn Fein's Carál Ní Chuilín criticised Mr McCausland and other DUP members.

"This was the second time that Nelson chose to engage in this childish and unparliamentarily behaviour," she said.

"Following his ejection the DUP members chose to engage in almost juvenile behaviour."

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