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UUP Health Minister picks UUP peer to chair ‘independent’ review

5 September, 2007

Sinn Féin John O'Dowd MLA, who is chair of the Public Accounts Committee, has questioned the wisdom of the Ulster Unionist Health Minister Michael McGimpsey appointing an Ulster Unionist peer to head up the important work of an 'independent' review of Autism.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"While welcoming the announcement of this important review into the provision of services for people with autism by the department of health, and acknowledging both the personal relationship to this issue and the role with Autism NI, I still think that this was not a wise appointment.

"The appointment leaves the Health Minister vulnerable to accusations of political nepotism and unnecessarily casts a cloud over this important work.

"The expertise available to the review is excellent and I hope that it is not curtailed in any fashion by any political considerations." ENDS

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