The time has come for the Secretary of State to “face up to reality” and introduce direct rule, a senior DUP figure has declared.
Sammy Wilson said that, following the collapse of the latest round of talks aimed at securing a return to devolution, the UK government must take “decisive action” to ensure some form of stability in the Province.
Commenting on the state of the talks during a visit to Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast yesterday, NI Secretary Karen Bradley said she would make a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday on the government’s next moves.
She expressed hope a deal could still be salvaged and said she would consider “all options” over the weekend.
“This has been a difficult week, I am not going to make any pretence of that,” she said.
“We have worked extraordinarily hard to do our very best to enable an executive to be formed and I still think that can be done.”
Speaking to the News Letter after Mrs Bradley’s statement, former finance minister Mr Wilson said: “The time for platitudes is over and it is now time to face up to reality.
“We wanted devolution to work but it is now clear that there is not going to be grounds for an agreement to restore power-sharing any time soon.
“The Secretary of State now has to get on with the job of making sure that Northern Ireland is governed.
“Call it whatever you want; direct rule, ministerial intervention, whatever.”
He added: “She now has an immediate decision to make as a budget needs to be set next week.”