Varadkar: Irish and British governments should not be too close to parties in North

Power-sharing talks are resuming at Stormont, while Theresa May's efforts to finalise a deal with the DUP continue

Varadkar: Irish and British governments should not be too close to parties in North

Picture by: Matt Dunham/AP/Press Association Images

Leo Varadkar says it is important for the peace process that the British government is not too close to any political party in the North.

His comments come as talks to restore power-sharing resume at Stormont today.

The British Conservatives have already agreed a deal in principle with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which will see the Northern Irish party support the government in Westminster.

Mrs May will depend on the DUP to maintain a parliamentary majority following last week's disastrous election for the Tories.

In a phone call with Prime Minister Theresa May over the weekend, Taoiseach Enda Kenny indicated "concern" that nothing should happen to put the Good Friday Agreement at risk.

Highlighting the challenge that any arrangement will bring, he also noted the absence of any nationalist voice in Westminster following the election.

Although they won seven seats, Sinn Féin is continuing its long-standing tradition of abstention from the British parliament.

Speaking this morning, Minister Varadkar said both Irish and British governments must be co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.

He explained: "When I have an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister May, I'll emphasise that as well.

"[Our role] is not to be too close to any particular party in the North - whether it's a nationalist or republican party, or a unionist party."

Meanwhile, in the UK, the speech traditionally used to kick off a government's term - the Queen's Speech - is reported to have been postponed.

The speech sees the new government's legislative agenda set out by the Queen, before MPs debate the proposals.

As multiple news agencies reported a postponement of the speech, a Labour spokesperson responded: "Number Ten's failure to confirm the date of the Queen's speech shows that this government is in chaos, as it struggles to agree a backroom deal with a party with abhorrent views on LGBT and women's rights."

Speaking earlier, Brexit Secretary David Davis admitted that the Conservative's election "went wrong" and that some manifesto pledges would be dropped or watered down.

"We'll have to look at the Queen's Speech and what we have to get through. It has to be voted on in Parliament in a week's time; it's a matter of practicality.

"There may be things that we simply can't put in. That will happen. That will be going on as we speak."