No plan for PM to visit NI in light of Stormont crisis

The Prime Minister’s spokesman has said he is not aware of any plans to visit Northern Ireland following the political crisis sparked by First Minister Paul Givan’s withdrawal from the Stormont Executive.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson (pictured) was monitoring the situation in Stormont closely but his spokesman was not aware of any plans for the prime minister to travel to Northern Ireland this week.

“It is something that we are monitoring very carefully, and obviously the prime minister is speaking to (Northern Ireland Secretary) Brandon Lewis about,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.

“Our immediate priority is to restore political stability in Northern Ireland at the earliest possible moment.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The secretary of state, meanwhile, is reportedly due to hold talks with officials in the United States tomorrow.

A government spokesperson told UTV News that Mr Lewis, who has responsibility for calling any early election, will travel to America to hold meetings with the United States administration.

He is expected to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol and the government’s commitment to the Good Friday Agreement.

One of his predecessors as Northern Ireland secretary, Theresa Villiers, meanwhile, has told the BBC the DUP’s decision to withdraw from the post of first minister “should send a message to the European Commission that the protocol is undermining political stability in Northern Ireland”. Ms Villiers made the comment in an interview with Radio Ulster.