Direct rule is SF's aim as Adams pulls strings: claims DUP
The DUP has claimed Gerry Adams has overruled Michelle O'Neill over any early return of Stormont following this week's Assembly election.
Arlene Foster's party - which has repeatedly referred to Mr Adams taking control since Martin McGuinness stood down as Deputy First Minister - said Sinn Fein now appears to prefer 'Brits in' to the restoration of devolution.
Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Mrs O'Neill accused the DUP of attempting to "sectarianise" the election.
But the DUP's Gordon Lyons said: "It would appear the Michelle O'Neill who was hopeful of getting devolution up and running just a few days ago has been overruled by Gerry Adams and his plan to hand over powers to the Conservative Government."
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties criticised Mrs O'Neill over her claim that they cannot hope to provide an alternative.
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said that after only eight months Sinn Fein and the DUP were "swallowed up by their own dysfunctionality".
"If the UUP is returned as the largest party of unionism after the election we will enter negotiations on forming a government. If we are not, we will form a stronger Opposition in the Assembly," he said.
The SDLP added that it is offering "an alternative at this election... positive accommodation between nationalism and unionism that delivers power-sharing".