Politics live: Twenty-seven MPs now want PM to go immediately; one says Boris Johnson should put himself up for confidence vote | Politics News

Stephen Murphy, Ireland correspondent

The people in this part of the UK are well used to long periods without a functioning government – they’re also very familiar with the posturing of the various political parties as they fail to deliver. 

Today’s machinations will have come as no surprise to even the most casual of observers.

The party lines had changed little over the past few days. 

It was a Sinn Fein “stunt” last week, according to DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, and it was still a Sinn Fein stunt today, according to his colleague Paul Givan.

The DUP insist that Sinn Fein knows all too well the impossibility of them going back into government while the thorny issue of the NI Protocol remains unresolved. 

That was one of the five planks of their election campaign, and now they are beholden to it.

Sinn Fein, for their part, continue to rail against the DUP’s failure to respect the democratic outcome of this month’s historic election, which saw Sinn Fein emerge as the largest party, and the First Minister’s seat being kept warm for Michelle O’Neil. 

She too, dutifully repeated the lines – the DUP “were holding the people to ransom”. 

The public “want action, not words”, she said. They were being used as “bargaining chips…for narrow party interests”.

The upshot of all of this is that – in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, and with some of the worst health system waiting lists anywhere in the UK – the people of Northern Ireland must continue to wait for their elected representatives to actually start working.

The largest party says it’s up to the second-largest party to resolve this. 

The second-largest party says it’s up to politicians in London and Brussels to sort it out. 

It’s just another day in Northern Ireland politics.

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