SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has claimed that the British Government has “checked out” of resolving the political stalemate at Stormont.
The Foyle MLA was speaking after a conversation with the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley.
The SDLP Leader challenged Mrs Bradley to convene the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference and stop using Northern Ireland as a pawn in the “political games with the DUP.”
Mr Eastwood said: “It appears that the concerns of the SDLP in relation to the future of local governance in the North are falling on deaf ears. Despite my best efforts, it has now become clear to me that the British Government are shrugging their responsibilities as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement as they have checked out of resolving the political stalemate at Stormont.
Mr Eastwood claimed that the political system is broken “thanks to the brinkmanship of the DUP and Sinn Fein”.
“Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement – both guarantors, both governments need to ensure the governance of this place,” he said.
“The best way to do that is to convene the intergovernmental conference, clear the decks and get all of us back to work in the Assembly.
“The British Government need to stop using Northern Ireland as a pawn in their political games with the DUP. There’s no messing around here – this is crunch time.”