North talks ex­tended

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

THE dead­line for talks to form a power-shar­ing ex­ec­u­tive in the North is to be ex­tended un­til June af­ter the call­ing of the snap UK elec­tion, sources in­di­cated last night.

Sev­eral par­ties said the talks had been ren­dered un­sus­tain­able by Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s de­ci­sion on Tues­day to call a gen­eral elec­tion for June 8.

The ex­ten­sion al­lows the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment to avoid de­cid­ing whether to call a fresh As­sem­bly elec­tion – the third in a year – or to re­vert to di­rect rule for the first time in a decade.

An of­fi­cial close to the As­sem­bly and a mem­ber of one of the par­ties in­volved in the talks con­firmed a de­ci­sion had been made to ex­tend the dead­line.

The As­sem­bly col­lapsed in Jan­uary when Sinn Féin with­drew over the ‘Cash for Ash’ scan­dal, say­ing tit was be­ing treated with ‘deep-seated ar­ro­gance’ by First Min­is­ter Ar­lene Fos­ter.

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