Peter Kyle calls on parties to form a new executive in Northern Ireland Brighton News

PETER Kyle has called on Northern Ireland’s political parties to work together to form a new executive after Sinn Fein won the most assembly seats in the region.

The party, which has long supported holding a border poll to determine whether the province should unite with the Republic of Ireland, emerged as the largest party in last week’s election.

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill now has the right to become prime minister – if she secures the post she would become the first nationalist politician to hold the post.

Mr Kyle, Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland and MP for Hove, congratulated Sinn Fein on their result.

He said: “It is healthy for Northern Ireland that parties from either community can appoint a Prime Minister and shows the Belfast/Good Friday deal is working.”

Northern Ireland’s executive, a power-sharing government between the largest Unionist and Nationalist party, collapsed in February after the DUP pulled out in protest at the Northern Ireland Protocol, which governs issues customs and immigration issues caused by Brexit between the island of Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The Argus: DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has been urged to work with Sinn Fein to restore government in Northern IrelandDUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has been urged to work with Sinn Fein to restore government in Northern Ireland

It allows lorries to deliver goods without having papers and goods checked when crossing the UK-Ireland border, but has proven controversial to some trade unionists who argue it undermines the place of the province in the United Kingdom.

The DUP has threatened not to participate in government unless the protocol is dropped.

However, Mr Kyle said all parties wanted to see a government formed to tackle the issues facing the people of Northern Ireland.

The Argus: Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill set to become Northern Ireland's first-ever nationalist Prime MinisterSinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill is set to become Northern Ireland’s first-ever nationalist Prime Minister

He said: “Trade unionism will continue to have a strong voice in power sharing and calls for progress on the remaining protocol issues have been heard and should not preclude a return to the executive.

“The government must now prioritize practical solutions through negotiation with the EU and not chase the headlines with empty threats.

“All parties want to see a functioning executive to help people deal with the cost of living crisis we are facing across the UK.”

Sinn Fein won 27 seats in the 90-seat assembly, with the DUP on 25 seats and the non-sectarian Alliance party third with 17 seats.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-09 10:19:17

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