Belfast Telegraph

Claims Arlene Foster's leadership under threat following Stormont talks failure 'utter nonsense': Gregory Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has rubbished suggestions that party leader Arlene Foster's leadership is under scrutiny following the collapse of Stormont talks.

On Wednesday Mrs Foster announced that talks with Sinn Fein to restore power-sharing at Stormont had failed and that there was "no current prospect" of a deal.

Mr Campbell, appearing on the BBC's The View programme, dismissed claims a draft agreement had been agreed between the two parties as "utter nonsense", adding the DUP would never agree to an Irish language act.

The East Londonderry MP, when questioned on whether Mrs Foster's leadership was under threat, said: "Arlene Foster has no difficulty within the party, didn't have any difficulty last weekend, and won't have any difficulty this weekend.

"Any nonsense that people are peddling, that calls into question Arlene Foster's leadership - you really need to get a grip," he added.

On Thursday, new Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said a draft package was in place last weekend.

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Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill and the DUP’s Arlene Foster

She claimed the agreement included an Irish language act, an Ulster Scots act, and a respecting language and diversity act.

However, Mrs Foster has strongly denied this.

She said: "I regret that we didn't reach an agreement because they were insisting on having this free-standing Irish language act," she said.

"That is not something that I could sign up to and I was always very clear about that."

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