MLAs holding emergency session after days of rioting
In the assembly Naomi Long is opening the debate. She is justice minister in the executive, and leader of the cross-party Alliance party.
She has tabled the motion MLAs are debating. It says:
That this assembly notes with concern the violence on our streets over recent days and condemns without equivocation those involved; sends best wishes to those police officers attacked or injured whilst protecting the community and extends its sympathy to those members of the public who have suffered distress, loss or damage as a result; reaffirms its full commitment to support for policing and for the rule of law; recognises that leadership comes with responsibility; recommits to upholding a culture of lawfulness in both actions and in words; and calls for an immediate and complete end to this violence.
And here are some more Northern Ireland developments this morning.
We have seen scenes last night of a new generation of young people who have been exposed to scenes that I’m sure we all thought were in generations gone by, and I would encourage anybody in a position of leadership – political representatives, community representatives, parents – take an interest in what young people are doing and to have a united message to prevent further scenes like we witnessed last night.
I think the executive need to stand together and need to make very, very firm statements around where they stand in the support in law and order. They cannot differentiate between supporting the chief constable and supporting officers on the ground.
Policing needs leadership, it needs a chief constable, and really in the middle of a crisis this isn’t terribly helpful.