Stormont: Party Talks Continue

Northern Ireland's political leaders have reconvened at Stormont today as the attempts to restore power-sharing continue.

Weekly talks with the British and Irish governments have been ongoing since 07 May in a bid to get the Executive back up and running.

The institutions at Stormont have been in suspension since January 2017 when the DUP and Sinn Fein split in a bitter row. Issues such as an Irish Language act and the region's ban on same-sex marriage remain a key sticking point in negotiations.

Speaking after today's round of talks, Tanaiste Simon Coveney indicated there is a window to secure an agreement in June. Secretary of State Karen Bradley also attended the meeting.
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The latest negotiations were announced in the wake of the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April and are the first since February 2018.

Alliance Party MLA Paula Bradshaw expressed her party's stance yesterday that in the event of a failed talks, a general election must follow.

Writing on Twitter, she said: "Reflecting this evening on the critical point we have reached in the Talks to restore the Executive and the fact that there appear to be only two possible outworkings- a functioning Assembly that delivers for people or a fresh set of elections."

The current working groups explore particular areas of disagreement between parties and are being chaired by former and current Stormont civil servants.


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