Stormont power-sharing talks collapse ahead of deadline

Sinn Féin yesterday said that the current round of talks has run its course

Stormont power-sharing talks collapse ahead of deadline

Michelle O'Neill and Gerry Adams. Picture by: Michael McHugh/PA Wire/PA Images

Negotiations on the establishment of a new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland have broken down, ahead of today's deadline on forming a new executive.

Sinn Féin says the current round of talks has run its course, and there will not be an agreement by this afternoon.

The party's leader in the North, Michelle O'Neill, said they will not be supporting nominations for the Speaker or Executive.

"The election result has transformed the political landscape," she argued. "The approach of the unionist parties and the governments must reflect this change." 

The DUP's Arlene Foster, meanwhile, claimed there was "little to suggest" Sinn Féin want to secure agreement.

In a statement last night, she said: "At every opportunity they have resisted involving the other parties and consequently no round table discussions were possible during this round of discussions. Any future discussions will have to built on a more solid footing."

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams blames the DUP - saying the unionist party is at a crossroads.

"Can they go forward with us and the other parties and build a society that reflects the rights of everyone?" he asked.

If no agreement is reached before this afternoon's deadline, the UK's Northern Secretary James Brokenshire must decide whether to call fresh elections, reintroduce direct rule, or allow the parties more time to reach an agreement.