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David Cameron tells Northern Ireland's parties to stop stalling on talks

By Noel McAdam

David Cameron used his flying visit to Northern Ireland to urge politicians here not to stall on implementing the Stormont House Agreement.

The Prime Minister said the new impasse was a pity, but denied the Christmas deal over key sticking points between the DUP and Sinn Fein was unravelling.

Mr Cameron was last here in December at a key stage in the talks. In travelling to all corners of the UK yesterday, he wanted to emphasise he is a Prime Minister for the regions as much as England. He did the same in 2010 when he sought support for the ill-fated Ulster Conservatives and unionists: New Force experiment. This time saw a simpler pitch, for just his own party, which is running in 16 constituencies.

"There are only 30 days left to the election and to the threat of an Ed Miliband government which would wreck the recovery and threaten jobs," he said.

But he ducked as many questions as he answered. On the DUP/UUP election pact, he said: "I'm not going to comment on that."

And on what he might be prepared to offer the DUP in the event of a hung Parliament, he replied: "I'm not aiming for a hung Parliament. I'm aiming for a Conservative majority government."

Mr Cameron said he was confident the Stormont House deal "will come back together".

But he insisted the rest of the UK could not support a different welfare system for Northern Ireland. "We have put in place our bit of the deal, we have legislated for corporation tax to be given over to Northern Ireland, we are happy to make the other changes we have talked about - but everything needs to be put in place," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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