Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Monday, 3 December 2012

BIC summit

The speaker of the Assembly said he had written letters to all MLAs advising them of the importance of turning up to ask questions, on 3 December 2012.

William Hay said he had issued the letters after seven questions were not asked in the assembly on 27 November 2012.

The questions were either withdrawn at the last minute, or the assembly members who submitted them were not present.

The lack of attendance provoked criticism from both the First Minister and Deputy First Minister at the time.

"I want to avoid a repeat of the situation last week," Mr Hay said.

He added he wanted members to recognise the "seriousness of situation" and said he would reintroduce sanctions on members if this conduct continued.

The TUV's Jim Allister said he would like the warning extended to ministers as he had written questions still not answered after 16 months.

First Minister Peter Robinson also gave a statement on a recent British Irish Council (BIC) summit

The meeting was attended by representatives from Wales, Westminster, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mr Robinson said the economy was the main topic of discussion and there was a "shared recognition of the importance of infrastructural investment as a lever through which governments can influence and mitigate the impact of the downturn".

The first minister also said that those attending agreed they should consider opportunities for young people.


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