On Tuesday the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland delivered a statement to the House of Commons following the announcement by the Deputy First Minister of the Stormont Assembly, Martin McGuinness MLA, that he would no longer be supporting the First Minister, Arlene Foster MLA.
Under the power-sharing agreement, that Labour secured, this means that Arlene Foster loses her role as First Minister and that a new election has to be arranged by the Westminster Government to seek reconciliation with the differences of opinion.
As a former Minister for Northern Ireland, who had to take direct rule of the region because of a similar circumstances, I understand the pressure that this will cause. It is important that this impasse is broken and that the Northern Ireland Assembly is able to take back control of the powers given under the previous agreements.
I asked the Secretary of State if he could confirm that other Ministers will remain in post to govern in Northern Ireland. This will ensure the objective of the Stormont House agreement is met.
The Secretary of State agreed with me that it is right that the relevant Ministers stay in place to maintain stability.