DUP and Conservatives hold talks

The government meanwhile said the state opening of the parliament - when May's government presents its legislation programme - will take place on June 21, two days later than planned.

The source said the talks to leave the European Union would not be delayed, removing the question mark over the negotiations being derailed by May's lack of a parliamentary majority lost in an election she did not need to call.

"We will continue to take the fight to the Tories and I will be out campaigning around the country in Conservative marginals in those extra seats we need to gain to deliver the government for the many that nearly 13 million people voted for last week".

The DUP has used a controversial Stormont voting mechanism - the petition of concern - to prevent a law change, despite a majority of MLAs supporting the move at the last vote.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I do think it is regrettable that Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where loving same-sex couples cannot get married as they can in England, Wales and Scotland and I certainly would hope to see that change for the better in the not too distant future".

"The UK Government is offering whatever support we can, working alongside the Irish government, as appropriate, honouring our respective commitments in the Belfast Agreement to serve the interests of the whole community in Northern Ireland", he said.

Noting how the peace process was very hard-earned over very many years, he said: "People shouldn't regard it as a given; it isn't certain, it is under stress, it is fragile".

But a deal with the DUP risks destabilising Northern Ireland by increasing the influence of pro-British unionists.

"Northern Ireland's political leaders now have it in their hands to take control and shape a brighter future for everyone in Northern Ireland". "It's passing quicker than anyone believes That's why we're ready to start very quickly".

If the talks fail it may bring back direct rule from London which after all the good work of the Good Friday Agreement and the time both Sinn Fein and the DUP shared power together would be a complete shame.

Former Northern Ireland secretary Lord Hain has accused the Conservatives of "putting party before peace" by seeking an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party to shore up Theresa May's minority administration in Parliament.

Brexit is another complicating factor in the mix.

Major's warning comes amid ongoing political turmoil in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland's frontier with the Republic of Ireland will be the UK's only land border with the European Union after Brexit.

She also gave a glimpse into the issues on the table, saying Brexit, counter-terrorism and "doing what's right" for the Northern Ireland economy were among the key issues being thrashed out.

"This will continue as long as no one is able to find a workable solution for the border issue".

  • Leroy Wright