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Theresa May: Election if no deputy first minister is found in seven days

Theresa May has said she is treating the political crisis in Northern Ireland "with the utmost seriousness".

The Prime Minister also confirmed that a snap election would be held at Stormont if a deputy first minister cannot be found within seven days.

The resignation of deputy first minister Martin McGuinness on Monday has plunged the coalition government into crisis.

The Sinn Fein veteran's move, in protest at the DUP's handling of a botched renewable energy scheme, also forced Arlene Foster from her post as first minister.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Mrs May said: "We are obviously treating this with the utmost seriousness."

She said Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire had urged all parties to work together to find a way forward.

The Prime Minister said: "I myself have also spoken to the Taoiseach about this issue, so we are putting every effort into this.

"The legislation is that if within seven days we don't have a nomination for a deputy first minister, then the matter would go to an election."

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