The Northern Ireland executive
This week the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland held talks with Northern Ireland political parties, following on from the efforts which have been made to restore executive government in Northern Ireland and demonstrating our commitment to the Union.
- Regional executive government, with local politicians making decisions for Northern Ireland, is the best outcome for everyone in the region.
- That is why the secretary of state continued talks with political parties in Northern Ireland yesterday to encourage them to form an executive government. Despite the talks, no agreement has been reached and the government is now under a legal duty to call a fresh election as set out in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.
Chris Heaton-Harris, Secretary of State, said after the meetings:
“I had conversations with party leaders today and expressed how disappointed I am that under current legislation the legal duty now falls on me to call an election. I listened to the party leaders’ various views on calling that election.”
“There are important issues of government to be dealt with due to the absence of ministers.
“I am particularly worried that the Executive has an enormous black hole in its budget, which potentially has serious implications for the delivery of many of Northern Ireland’s public services. Measures to set a budget will be required in the short term.
“I will provide a further update on next steps in due course.”