SINN Féin First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has said the formation of an Executive and political stability in the North cannot be held hostage by ‘Tory infighting and chaos’ at Westminster. 

Speaking after British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis became the latest Minister to resign from the British government and it was reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also step down, Michelle O’Neill said: “Brandon Lewis abandoned any pretence of acting with the ‘rigorous impartiality’ required of him under the Good Friday Agreement.

“He has shamefully placated the DUP by giving them political cover in denying the electorate the democratic representation they are entitled to.

“His actions are preventing Ministers from using £435 million to support workers and families struggling with the rising cost of living crisis, agreeing a three-year budget and putting an additional billion pounds towards fixing our health service."

Ms O'Neill added that Brandon Lewis has failed victims and survivors by tearing up the Stormont House Agreement agreed by the two governments and political parties to deal with the past.

“He has undermined the Good Friday Agreement and political stability and his actions gave us a daily reminder why those with no mandate or votes here will only ever act in their own political interests, and not ours," she continued. 

“The political stability of the North cannot be a hostage to the Tory-in fighting, Westminster chaos and continued DUP disruption.”

Reacting to news that Boris Johnson is set to step down, People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll called for an election, saying that none of the Tories waiting in the wings are fit to govern.

“Boris Johnson’s resignation is long overdue, but it is no good replacing him with someone who is equally culpable in attacking working people − the entire Tory government should be put out of office," he said.

“None of the Tories waiting in line to take Johnson’s place are fit to lead a government; they are self-serving elites who have treated people in need with contempt for years.

"They have presided over one law for the rich and one for everyone else, lavishly partying during Covid and siphoning millions to billionaires and wealthy corporations. 

“The Tories do not have the mandate to continue with business as usual. It is time to let the people have their say on this rotten Tory government. We want to see a general election now, to allow people the democratic opportunity to finally boot the Tories out of office.”