“What is clear however is that even amongst proponents of reform there is currently no consensus on what that reform should entail.”
Evidence is mounting that the Assembly simply doesn’t – and perhaps can’t – deliver good government consistently. But the deal which founded it is treated as holy writ.
Even if the DUP and Sinn Fein could persuade their communities to back the compromises necessary, they have not done so.
Also: May wades into Scottish flag row; Liberal Democrat accused of costing taxpayers thousands to prop up Jones; and DUP dismiss legal threat to £1 billion deal.
Hammond tries to lure Stormont back to its feet with yet more powers; Scots Tories highlight Budget role; and more.
Also: Scottish Labour plunge into chaos again as interim leader resigns; Brokenshire threatens MLAs’ pay; MPs debate ‘indyref2’; and more.
Also: Brokenshire challenges Brussels to find a ‘creative solution’ for Northern Ireland; Jones faces calls to quit after colleague’s apparent suicide; Salmond bids for control of anti-independence paper.
If the Northern Irish Office is manifestly unwilling to move towards direct rule, it has no leverage against Ulster’s recalcitrant legislators.
The manifesto makes collapsing devolution far less tempting for Sinn Fein and could give unionists the confidence and breathing space to reform.
The general election may have put the latest crisis on hold, but the dominance of Stormont’s ‘big two’ will keep causing problems.
“It is extremely disappointing that an Executive has not been formed in Northern Ireland today. There will be widespread dismay across the community.”
Perhaps voters are waiting to see the outcome of the negotiations, or maybe the economic reality of Ulster’s reliance on Great Britain is key to swing voters.
Also: Davidson bullish as donors step forward to back pro-UK campaign; Plaid suspend AM over bullying claims; and the SNP abandon oil.
The Northern Irish Secretary’s options are limited: the root of this crisis is personality rather than policy, and only the DUP can solve it.
Also: Davidson attacks SNP’s efforts to deepen divisions over Brexit; and the Welsh Conservatives criticise Labour’s bid to overturn new trade union laws.