Labour MP Kate Hoey has told Secretary of State Karen Bradley to stop “dilly-dallying” over the day-to-day running of Northern Ireland.
In the House of Commons yesterday, the NI-born MP for Vauxhall said people in Northern Ireland would be disappointed with Ms Bradley’s statement on the NI budget, adding: “Why is the secretary of state still dilly-dallying and waiting and waiting and waiting, what actually does she think is going to be achieved in the next months.”
Meanwhile, former secretary of state James Brokenshire urged ministers to focus on restoring devolved government “rather than talking up direct rule”.
They were Mr Brokenshire’s first comments in the Commons since stepping down from the role last month to undergo lung surgery.
The DUP’s Sammy Wilson said the structures of the Belfast Agreement “have given a power of veto and blackmail to Sinn Fein”.
He added: “Given that there will be no giving in to that blackmail, will the secretary of state now recognise that in the absence of the inability or ability to set up an Executive that the only way forward for Northern Ireland now is for her to start taking some of decisions that are important for the day-to-day running in Northern Ireland.”
Fellow DUP MP Jim Shannon also attacked Sinn Fein, urging the secretary of state to outline the timeline for the imposition of direct rule “to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland are not continued to be led by the nose by Sinn Fein, a party who do not have the interests of Northern Ireland at heart, but who seek the destruction of the state of Northern Ireland in an attempt to secure an unwanted and unworkable Ireland that is never, never, never going to happen.”
Ms Bradley reiterated that everything was being done to get devolved government back up and running in Northern Ireland.