The DUP is expected to nominate Paul Givan later today following meetings with N.I. Secretary of State yesterday evening – which resulted in a commitment on behalf of the UK government to introduce the cultural and language acts set out in the NDNA deal – if the Assembly fails to do so by September.
Speaking this morning, DUP Leader Edwin Poots has said: “We have never been in the business of playing fast and loose with devolution.
“Our waiting lists, economic recovery and schools are too important for party political games.
“Sinn Féin set a deadline of June 24 for cultural legislation to be on the floor of the NI Assembly. That has not happened.
“Their decision to set ultimatums and deadlines was unnecessary.
“The DUP is not in the business of pre-conditions. Our mandate must be respected.
“The DUP negotiated NDNA and it should be implemented, in all its parts.
“It was a careful balance of agreements on a range of issues including culture.
“Importantly though, the place for such legislation is the NI Assembly. That has been our consistent position throughout and remains so.”
Confirming the Party‘s nomination for First Minister, Mr Poots said: “Paul Givan will be nominated for the position of First Minister at the earliest opportunity. It is regretful that there was ever such instability created by Sinn Féin.
“We must now focus on advancing those issues from NDNA which matter to everyone whether that be our waiting lists, educational underachievement, the implementation of the Military Covenant, additional PSNI officers as well as the key elements of the cultural legislation which strengthen the unionist place here.”