‘No more Executive meetings’ - DUP

7th September  2015''DUP leader and First Minister talks to the press in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, regarding the recent crisis in the Northern Ireland Assembly. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
7th September 2015''DUP leader and First Minister talks to the press in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, regarding the recent crisis in the Northern Ireland Assembly. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

As Derry MLAs got back to work at the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday, the DUP announced that there would be no more Executive meetings unless they felt there were ‘exceptional circumstances’.

The move comes as a new round of talks start today with the five biggest parties set to meet at Stormont House to deal with two issues - securing the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement and paramilitary activity.

The DUP reacted after the Ulster Unionist party withdrew from the executive last week after police said Provisional IRA members had a role in the killing of Kevin McGuigan in Belfast.

Yet Sinn Féin have rejected the police assessment and said the IRA had “gone” and was not “coming back”

Yesterday, Monday, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy said they were “not going to allow ourselves to become distracted by the electoral contest that’s going on within unionism,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the weekend Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said it would be a huge mistake for the British government to attempt to impose its welfare cuts agenda over the heads of the Assembly and the Executive.

Mr McGuinness was speaking after British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said her government would enact welfare cuts legislation if Assembly parties refuse to implement them.

He said, “Any move by the British Government to impose its welfare cuts agenda over the heads of the Assembly and Executive will seriously undermine devolution and the political institutions.

“It would be a huge mistake.

“The Tory cuts agenda has led to increased hardship and poverty in Britain and will have the same impact on communities in the north of Ireland.

“It is wrong and unjust to punish those most in need. The parties supporting these Tory policies should reflect on the damage they will do to all our people.

“This Tory government appears to be willing to jeopardise years of political progress for its own narrow right wing agenda.”