The UK general election on June 8, 2017, produced a hung Parliament, leaving the Conservatives with 317 seats as the largest party, but with 650 seats in the House of Commons they were short of the 326 they needed for a majority.
Speaking at the launch of a new report (Sectarianism: The Key Facts) at Stormont last Monday, Mike Nesbitt spoke about his own experiences: "A more recent memory is a couple of years ago, when I was leader of the (Ulster) Unionist Party, and I said I would give a preference vote in the 2017 election to the SDLP and, figuratively, I was burned out of office by some rather sectarian reaction from the unionist community."
The declining number of Catholic police officers in the PSNI has led to a recent recruitment drive by the organisation in a bid to encourage new recruits, particularly from a Catholic background.
Politics can be a most thankless and cruel business. This became brutally clear to Julian Smith over the past week. Despite his mighty achievement in restoring a power-sharing Executive to Stormont, Smith was sacked by an ungrateful Boris Johnson from his position as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
The formation of a new government in Dublin looks as far away as ever, but Sinn Fein always keeps its eye on the long game and continues to insist that its own success in topping the poll at the recent general election represents an irresistible mandate for a border poll, conveniently forgetting that Laois and Limerick don't actually matter when the only criteria for calling a vote on Irish unity is if the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland deems it to have a fair chance of leading to a constitutional change.
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