Stormont deadlock: Secretary of state to meet parties on Monday

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is to meet the five main political parties on Monday in a bid to end the Stormont deadlock.

James Brokenshire will meet the DUP, Sinn Féin, UUP, Alliance and SDLP.

It follows Sinn Fein’s rejection of a DUP proposal for an an immediate restoration of the assembly along with a parallel, time-limited process to deal with culture and language.

In June, talks between parties failed to restore a power-sharing executive.

All-party talks had been expected to begin before the end of the summer, however, there are still no formal plans for that to happen.

The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, made the proposal at a DUP meeting in Belfast on Thursday night.

She described it as a “common-sense solution” to the political deadlock.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams says that without a stand-alone Irish Language Act, there will be no new assembly

Northern Ireland has been without a functioning devolved government since January, when the coalition led by the two biggest parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, collapsed over a botched green energy scheme.

The late deputy first minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, stood down in protest against the DUP’s handling of an investigation into the scandal, in a move that triggered a snap election in March.

One of the major sticking points in talks to restore devolved government has been Sinn Féin’s demand for an Irish Language Act.

Earlier this week, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said there would be no Northern Ireland Assembly without an Irish Language Act.