Ex-Prisoner adviser ban is passed

A controversial Bill to ban ex-prisoners convicted of serious offences from becoming ministerial advisers at Stormont has been passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

A majority of MLAs voted for the contentious proposal to become law following a lengthy and often fractious debate at Parliament Buildings in Belfast.

The SDLP, which had found itself holding the balance of power inside the chamber, ultimately resisted vociferous calls from Sinn Fein and some victims of the Troubles to trigger an Assembly mechanism that would have stymied the legislative change.

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