McGuinness quits Westminster seat

Martin McGuinness at Stormont

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is to resign as MP for Mid Ulster to concentrate on his job at Stormont.

Analysis

The decision to bring down the curtain on the Assembly careers of Sinn Fein MPs Conor Murphy and Michelle Gildernew is surprising.

Mr Murphy said he had "some regrets" but he was not disappearing from Irish politics for British politics emphasising that there was no chance of Sinn Fein ending its boycott of Westminster.

Sinn Fein's four other MPs are to resign from their assembly seats as the party seeks to end "double-jobbing".

Party president Gerry Adams said this would avoid triggering a string of Westminster by-elections.

It is likely that any by-election in Mid Ulster will not take place until the autumn.

The four MPs resigning their Stormont seats will be replaced by co-option.

Sinn Fein party president Gerry Adams said they wanted to avoid having by-elections.

However, he left the door open for the possibility of the MLAs returning to Stormont at the next Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

In February, Executive Minister Alex Attwood unveiled plans to outlaw "double-jobbing" within two years.

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