Theresa May in breach of Belfast Agreement on DUP deal - Adams

Theresa May in breach of Belfast Agreement on DUP deal - Adams

Theresa May in breach of Belfast Agreement on DUP deal - Adams

Former Tory Prime Minister John Major has spoken out against Theresa May's intent to prop up a government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Former Prime Minister John Major said earlier that a Conservative-DUP deal could create the perception that London was no longer an honest broker of the 1998 peace settlement in Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement.

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said: "I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements".

Her remarks came after Sinn Fein and other Stormont parties insisted Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire could not chair the efforts to restore powersharing.

Major said that any DUP deal would inevitably involve giving extra cash to Northern Ireland at the expense of other parts of the UK.

Sources in the Northern Ireland party indicated today that discussions with the Conservatives are on the verge of being completed - although they have been slowed by the tragic tower block blaze in West London.

The delegation of Sinn Féin - whose seven MPs refuse to take their seats at Westminster - is expected to include Mrs O'Neill, party president Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald, the party's deputy leader and a member of the Irish parliament.

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The Northern Ireland assembly broke down at the beginning of this year after Foster refused to step aside temporarily to make way for an independent inquiry into a bungled green energy scheme.

The move comes amid concerns the Government will compromise its stated impartiality in the region if it enters a confidence and supply deal with the DUP at Westminster. The talks have a deadline of June 29 to restore devolution or reinstate direct rule.

"The prime minister will have to do a lot more to convince us that the DUP tail isn't wagging the Tory dog", Colum Eastwood, leader of the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said in a statement. "I have no doubt over time those responsible will look foolish in the extreme", she said.

But the other Stormont parties have warned that any deal between the DUP and Conservatives could make restoring power sharing more hard.

Downing Street sources told our correspondent talk of a delay in announcing a deal was "not coming from us".

Major, who helped lay the foundations of the 1998 agreement that ended two decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland when he was in government, said it would imperil the United Kingdom government's impartial role in the peace process.

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