Belfast Telegraph

We just don't know who is in charge of DUP: Murphy

By David Young, PA

Uncertainty over who calls the shots in the DUP is threatening to leave efforts to restore Stormont in limbo, Sinn Fein has warned.

Party negotiator Conor Murphy questioned the authority of the DUP negotiating team, headed up by party leader Arlene Foster, that engaged with it in the last round of ill-fated talks.

Sinn Fein has claimed Mrs Foster agreed a draft deal to resurrect Stormont last month before pulling the plug in the face of an internal revolt by party members angry at the prospect of concessions on the Irish language. It is an allegation Mrs Foster has denied.

Asked about the prospects of re-engagement with the DUP in the short-term, Mr Murphy said: "We have to ascertain who we are dealing with on the other side of the table.

"It's a fundamental question in negotiations that are the people you are talking to able to deliver a deal? And the answer to that at the end of last negotiation was clearly no.

"So we need to ascertain all of those things. That could open up into a period of nothing happening and I don't think that's good for any of us."

Mr Murphy made the comments as he lodged a submission with the Boundary Commission expressing concern about proposed constituency changes that Sinn Fein claims benefit the DUP.

Belfast Telegraph

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