Sinn Féin to meet Theresa May, warn against DUP deal

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill has said she will raise the issue with Mrs May in face-to-face talks in London on Thursday.

"The power-sharing institutions collapsed because of the DUP's RHI financial scandal and the refusal of previous Tory governments and the DUP to implement previous agreements".

"We don't think there is a need to further delay a process that should be put in place to address the needs of the people of Northern Ireland", he said.

Speculation has mounted that an agreement will be hard to reach due to the deal now being negotiated between the DUP and Conservative Party to support the Tory government.

He accused her of turning a "blind eye to the disruptive actions" of the DUP at Stormont as the British prime minister signalled she was "confident" of getting the Queen's Speech through the Commons whether or not a deal was reached by next week.

It had been hoped May and DUP leader Arlene Foster would reach an agreement Wednesday that would give the Conservatives a small working majority.

"It's a unity of objective, having voted to leave the European Union, that their Government gets on with that and makes a success of it, and we are committed to developing a deep and special partnership with the European Union".

May's office said Northern Ireland's five main parties would take part, but a spokesman for the DUP did not immediately respond to a request to confirm their participation.

The nationalist Sinn Fein and SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all made clear Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to the perceived conflict of interest.

Before travelling to the French capital, Mrs May had been leading the talks with the DUP. Voters who previously backed the SDLP - whose MPs did take their seats - may demand SF MPs change their position. "So of course we would support any monies going to the executive", Adams said.

"We remain optimistic that a deal (on powersharing) can be done if others have the will to do so", she said.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said: "The context in which the talks process is now being asked to operate in could have very serious consequences if there is any suggestion of a back room deal with the DUP".

"It can't be a deal that affects and infects the talks process".

  • Leroy Wright