Bookmark and Share

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.
News Image
"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."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 January 2018
Further Searches Being Carried Out In Fermanagh
More searches are being carried out in Fermanagh after reports of a suspect device in the area last week. The Kilcoo Road and the Cashel Road are currently closed while police carry out their investigations.
09 January 2018
Other News In Brief
Five People Convicted Of Benefit Fraud Three men and two women have been convicted for claiming benefits they were not entitled to at Belfast Magistrates' Court. Adrian Johnston claimed Jobseeker's Allowance totalling £3,482 while failing to declare occupational pension. He was given 60 hours community service.
11 January 2018
Serious Concerns Raised As NI Cancer Targets Missed
Serious concerns have been raised after new figures revealed that cancer targets in Northern Ireland have been missed again. In September 2017, 228 out of 368 patients were first treated within 62 days following an urgent GP referral, according to data from the Department of Health.
13 July 2001
THE British and Irish prime ministers have returned to Weston Park in Shropshire for further talks aimed at saving the Good Friday Agreement.
19 September 2005
Violence threatens NI's economic potential
Scenes of violence and destruction in and around Belfast are viewed as a major setback the bid to achieve the full economic potential for Northern Ireland. That was the message from the Economic Development Forum, which met recently to discuss progress on meeting the major challenges facing the economy.
09 January 2018
Man Attacked By Masked Men In North Belfast
An investigation has been launched after a man sustained facial injuries after being assaulted by masked men in north Belfast. The attack happened at a house in the Greenmount Place area at around 10.30pm on Monday, 08 January. The men, armed with hammers, forced entry into the property and attacked and threatened the victim.
25 May 2006
NI political parties invited to join 'devolution' committee
The Northern ireland Secretary of State, Peter Hain, has today invited the main political parties to sit on an Assembly Committee in a bid to restore devolution. It is understood that each of the main parties, the DUP, Sinn Fein, UUP and SDLP, will be given three places on the panel, with the Alliance party being given two.
14 November 2005
Political parties in talks at Hillsborough
The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Hain, and the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, have invited a number of political parties to take part in meetings in Hillsborough today. On the agenda of the low-key meetings are policing, parades and restorative justice. Mr Hain referred to the meetings as a "stock-tacking" exercise.
25 August 2004
Parties want process to succeed, says Murphy
Northern Ireland's political parties know what has to be done to end direct rule and restore the devolved institutions, Secretary of State Paul Murphy has said today.
22 September 2003
Murphy holds talks with political parties
Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Paul Murphy has held a series of political meetings with a number of political parties to discuss the ongoing peace process. Representatives from Sinn Fein, SDLP and UKUP met Mr Murphy at Hillsborough as efforts continue to re-establish devolved government in Northern Ireland.
31 October 2006
FSB advances financial proposals for NI
Business body, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has unveiled plans for a Northern Ireland finance package. The FSB have called for the introduction of a Ten Year Rates Reinvestment Fund to offer every business in Northern Ireland a 50% rates reduction if they use the capital to employ more staff and expand their business.
13 April 2015
SDLP Supports Assembly Commission Proposals
The SDLP has endorsed a 3% cut to party financing by the Assembly commission. Mr Pat Ramsey said that it's important that parties share the pain of cuts.
31 January 2005
Prime Minister and Taoiseach meet to discuss way ahead
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will meet in London on Tuesday to discuss the way ahead in the Northern Ireland peace process. The meeting follows separate discussions by both premiers with Sinn Fein and other political parties last week.
21 September 2015
Parties Urged To 'Not Let Opportunity Slip Away'
Northern Ireland's five main political parties have been urged to engage in new talks, aimed at breaking the deadlock. Speaking ahead of talks, due to start today, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, said: "These talks are crucial for Northern Ireland.
07 March 2006
Adams calls for Assembly move
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has urged the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the Prime Minister Tony Blair to get the Northern Ireland assembly up and running before the province's marching season.