Sun, 10 December 2023

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Theresa May calls Northern Ireland leaders to press for power-sharing deal

1 min read

Theresa May has held talks with DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein’s Michelle O'Neill as the UK Government steps up the pressure for a deal on a Northern Irish power-sharing executive. 

The Prime Minister called the two leaders to underline that it was “important that momentum is maintained” in the efforts to break the impasse that has left Northern Ireland without a government for months.

A No 10 spokesperson said of the call with Ms O’Neill: “They both agreed on the need for the Executive to be restored for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland.

“The Prime Minister recognised that constructive discussions had taken place between the parties and urged them both to come together reach a collective agreement so that devolved Government could be restored in Northern Ireland.”

It comes after Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire extended talks between Sinn Fein and the DUP to find a deal after the most recent deadline on Thursday passed.

Mr Brokenshire warned both sides that they had to reach a conclusion soon, with the new cut-off date set for Monday.

Speaking on the BBC’s Any Questions programme, he said: “We've obviously had an extended period where Northern Ireland has not had politicians making decisions.

"The Northern Ireland Civil Service has effectively been running the show here. That cannot continue for an extended period, for much longer.”

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