The SDLP has said the party whip has been removed from the North Antrim MLA Declan O'Loan following his call for a single nationalist party. Mr O'Loan will now not be able to meetings of the party's assembly group.So, despite O'Loan's (probably unwilling) retraction of his original statement, he has still been punished "for an indefinite period which the leader will decide". This implies that he did not prostrate himself before her today – he clearly argued back, and as we all know, naughty boys who argue back are punished more severely!
It said party leader Margaret Ritchie took action following a meeting with Mr O'Loan on Tuesday. The party said the whip has been removed for an indefinite period which the leader will decide.
The SDLP will presumably now need a new spokesman for finance and personnel, since O'Loan is in detention for the foreseeable future.
Will he take his punishment without a murmur, or will he fight back? That is today's Question of the Day. Tomorrow's question of the day might be whether the SDLP has a future now that it has opted for totalitarianism at the top. O'Loan's 'retraction' yesterday was almost Stalinesque.
This blog has never been a fan of Ritchie, but she seems to be driving the SDLP over a cliff much quicker than anyone expected.