Sinn Fein has lodged a formal complaint to the Assembly over the allegations made about the Speaker Robin Newton on Spotlight.

The BBC show claimed Mr Newton “misled” MLAs over his links to ex-prisoners’ organisation, the UDA-linked Charter NI. Mr Newton completely rejected the claims, but said he would stand down as Speaker at the next sitting of the Assembly.

Police are also reviewing a complaint about the show.

On his party’s complaint, MLA Alex Maskey said: “We are also seeking confirmation as to whether he was in breach of the Section 43 NI Act applicable to MLAs on declaration of interests.

 “We believe that Robin Newton’s position as speaker is completely untenable in light of the serious allegations in a BBC Spotlight programme and that he should resign with immediate effect.

“The public demand integrity in government and the speaker should be above reproach and independently accountable to the political institutions.”

There have been calls for DUP MLA Newton to immediately stand down and for an investigation to be held. The post of Assembly Commissioner for Standards is currently vacant, meaning there can be no Stormont investigation into Mr Newton’s conduct as an MLA.

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