UK PM Theresa May talks with Sinn Féin and DUP over Stormont stalemate

Downing Street says legislation for a Stormont budget will go forward on Monday

UK PM Theresa May talks with Sinn Féin and DUP over Stormont stalemate

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at an annual CBI annual conference in London | Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire/PA Images

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has held talks by phone with the leadership of Sinn Féin and the DUP.

It comes as the Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is moving to bring forward a budget for Stormont from Westminster.

The two main parties have been locked in talks with no sign of agreement.

The Stormont Executive has not sat since January.

Mr Brokenshire has said while the talks are on-going, he has no option but to start preparations to impose a budget from London.

A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed Mrs May has spoken by phone to both parties about the political situation.

In separate phone calls, Downing Street said she expressed her "concern" that despite recent progress agreement had not yet been reached.

She has urged both parties to bridge the gaps on outstanding issues.

Mrs May also confirmed that her government will be taking forward legislation for a Stormont budget bill on Monday.

The spokeswoman says this is to ensure "that in the absence of an executive, public services in Northern Ireland have the resources they need to operate."

"There was agreement on the importance of devolved government being returned to Northern Ireland for the benefit of all communities and the Prime Minister said that the UK government would continue to work, alongside the Irish Government, with the parties in reaching a successful outcome", the spokeswoman adds.