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Secretary of State's statement on the NI Executive Formation Deadline

The statement follows the expiry of the deadline for the Northern Ireland Assembly to elect a speaker.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris has said that he will act to protect public services after the parties failed to restore the Northern Ireland Executive.

Under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Organ and Tissue Donation) Act 2023, the deadline to elect a speaker to the Northern Ireland Assembly and put an Executive in place has now passed. 

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is now under a legal duty to call an Assembly election. 

Mr Heaton-Harris recently stated:

“I am disappointed that the parties have been unable to elect a speaker to the Assembly and restore the Northern Ireland Executive before the deadline set in law.

“Events in Northern Ireland this week have shown the urgent action which is required to address a whole range of issues facing Northern Ireland. 

“I remain of the belief that a sitting Northern Ireland Executive is best placed to act quickly and effectively to resolve those issues.   

“In the absence of a sitting Northern Ireland Executive I will update Parliament on the next steps.

“I intend to introduce new legislation which will take a pragmatic, appropriate and limited approach to addressing the Executive Formation period and support Northern Ireland Departments to manage the immediate and evident challenges they face in stabilising public services and finances.”


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