Methodist Church leader calls on Northern Ireland parties to put aside ‘constitutional grandiosity’ and form an Executive

The President of the Methodist Church of Ireland has called on Northern Ireland’s political leaders to get down to business.

In a statement, the Rev Dr Sahr Yambasu said this was not the time for tribalism or “constitutional bombast”.

“I congratulate all those who have been elected to serve as MLAs in the Stormont Assembly and wish them well as they embark on their new term. I would also like to commiserate with those who were unsuccessful in the elections,” he said.

“At a time when the people of Northern Ireland are affected by the fallout from Brexit, covid and a massive cost of living crisis, I urge all parties to deliver on the election results and enter into the government in whatever position the d’Hondt system offers them and work together for the good of the electorate’s daily lives, not in pursuit of tribal loyalties or constitutional swagger.”

With Sinn Fein making history by ending up as the first nationalist party to become Northern Ireland’s biggest, it now remains uncertain whether the DUP will be fully involved in the new mandate.

Earlier on Sunday, former Prime Minister Arlene Foster warned that Northern Ireland faces a period of political instability unless Prime Minister Johnson addresses unionist concerns over the protocol.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has yet to say whether he will nominate a deputy prime minister to work alongside Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill as prime minister.

A repeated call at polling stations over the weekend from other political parties was that voters had demanded that MLAs get to work on Monday and work to form an Executive.

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