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15/09/2015

Villers Describes Stormont Political Crisis As 'Very Grave'

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has described the current political crisis in Northern Ireland as "very grave".

Speaking to the House of Commons she also confirmed she has been keeping in close contact with the five main political parties, the Irish Government and the Prime Minister.

Ms Villiers also plans to hold further talks at Stormont on Wednesday and further ahead.

She said: "Serious consideration needs to be given to whether the time is right to re-establish a body along the lines of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

"The remit the parties might wish to give to such a body is likely to be different from those addressed by the original IMC, reflecting changed circumstances.
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"But there might well be scope for such a body to play a part in providing greater community confidence and repairing working relationships within the Executive."

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said it would be prepared to enter talks in the right circumstances.

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said there should be no delays or preconditions in beginning all-party talks to resolve the current difficulties facing the Executive. 

Mr Murphy said: "There should be no delays or preconditions in progressing to full all-party talks to resolve the current difficulties facing the Executive. These talks should begin immediately.

"We are approaching these talks to achieve a resolution and that should be the goal of all political parties. 

"If a resolution cannot be found then the next step will be to go to the polls and call a fresh election."

(CD)

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