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TUV calls for direct rule to 'drain Stormont swamp'

By Noel McAdam

British ministers should take control of Stormont until a voluntary coalition of parties can set up an Executive, TUV leader Jim Allister has said.

His appeal for London to take over local departments came as the party launched a poster campaign urging voters to "drain the Stormont swamp".

The message is a re-working of one of Donald Trump's campaign slogans and alludes to controversies such the botched Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Rather than traditional direct rule, Mr Allister said British ministers should be held to account by the Assembly.

"Until there is enough maturity to embrace voluntary coalition, British ministers should take over the Executive," the TUV leader added.

"But this time, their laws and actions should be subject to the Assembly, so as to secure local accountability.

"Stormont is an irredeemable mess. Scandal, squander and downright bad government hallmark its every action.

"We cannot go on like this. Our people need government, but all Sinn Fein/DUP promise is more of the same.

"It's time to declare through the ballot box that enough is enough. It's time to drain the swamp.

"Only a voluntary coalition of the willing will ever produce devolution that works.

"A compulsory place for Sinn Fein at the heart of government will never work because the inescapable reality is that they are not in Stormont to make Northern Ireland work."

The TUV and the Alliance Party were the first out of the election blocks last week, announcing their candidates for the vote.

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