Protesters gather as Boris Johnson arrives in Stormont, Northern Ireland amid the power-sharing crisis
Boris Johnson arrived in Northern Ireland on Monday afternoon to meet with the five leaders of the region’s main political parties following the recent crisis in Stormont.
he British Prime Minister has flown in for a series of talks to restore the power-sharing government.
The DUP is refusing to appoint a speaker for the work of the assembly or a deputy first minister for forming the executive until the UK takes action on post-Brexit trade deals, which unionists see as a border in the Irish Sea.
However, in an article for the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Johnson said the Northern Ireland Protocol was not going to be scrapped but needed to be fundamentally changed.
Meanwhile, protesters rallied in Hillsborough, Co. Down ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, booing and jeering his cavalcade as it drove through the gates of Hillsborough Castle.
Boris Johnson hits the main Stormont parties at the royal residence in the village on Monday afternoon.
About 200 demonstrators held banners that read, “Stay away from Boris. Protect the record”.
There was also a demonstration by some families of the 11 people killed by soldiers in Ballymurphy, west Belfast in 1971, against government plans to offer an effective amnesty for prosecutors for Troubles crimes.
The DUP has been pressured by other parties to participate in government.
But Jeffrey Donaldson insisted there is no cross-community consensus on the protocol, which he says “fundamentally undermines the basis for power-sharing in Northern Ireland and needs to be addressed… the sooner the better”.
Sinn Fein’s Stormont Chair, Michelle O’Neill, said the parties “have no need for pep talk from Boris Johnson, we want the policy to work”.
Speaking in Dublin after meeting Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Ms O’Neill said 10 days after the general election, the DUP was “holding society for ransom”.
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said she would urge Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bar those who prevent the work of the Stormont Assembly from receiving a salary.
“That’s the most important thing at this point because I think people were really angry over the weekend at the thought of people blocking the restoration of institutions preventing the assembly from meeting – which was never on the DUP’s agenda during the election – can still appear and be paid for. So I’m going to tell him that very clearly,” she told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/protesters-gather-as-boris-johnson-arrives-in-northern-ireland-amid-stormont-power-sharing-crisis-41654879.html Protesters gather as Boris Johnson arrives in Stormont, Northern Ireland amid the power-sharing crisis