Belfast Telegraph

Direct rule will return to Northern Ireland, former secretary of state says

Slams 'shocking dereliction of responsibility' over Stormont stalemate

Lord Peter Hain says he believes that there will be a return to direct rule in Northern Ireland

The former secretary of state also believes there has been a "shocking dereliction of responsibility" by the British and Irish governments in Northern Ireland.

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, he said the return of direct rule would be an "absolute tragedy" at a "very dangerous time" and that Northern Ireland "deserves better than this".

Speaking on the Sunday Politics programme, Lord Hain said there was "nobody at the helm".

He added: "Nobody's taking any initiatives to really drive this forward. There's a sense of drift.

"We have secretary of state at the beginning of last week that it would all be sorted by the end of the week. He's been making those noises now for months.

"There has to be a sense of change. Someone has to get a grip. Northern Ireland deserves better than this."

The talks to re-establish a power sharing executive in Northern Ireland have been officially suspended after the two main parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein failed to agree on a number of key issues.

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The NI Assembly has been suspended since January when the late Martin McGuinness resigned as Deputy First Minister over DUP leader Arlene Foster's refusal to stand aside during an investigation into the Renewable Heating Incentive scheme.

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