Northern Ireland

DUP's Peter Robinson at Stormont ahead of political talks

Peter Robinson Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mr Robinson served as first minister since 2008, but stepped aside earlier this month

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will be at Stormont ahead of talks on the future of Northern Ireland's executive, after he was discharged from hospital.

Peter Robinson will brief party colleagues before talks over the political crisis, sparked by the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan Sr.

Mr Robinson stepped aside as first minister 10 days ago.

He was discharged from hospital after being admitted as a precaution.

Mr Robinson was taken to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday after suffering an adverse reaction to medication.

A DUP spokesperson said Mr Robinson "will meet party colleagues regarding the talks process" at Stormont on Monday.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has urged politicians not to let the opportunity to secure a bright future slip away.

On Friday, the government said it had commissioned an independent assessment of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland.

The story of Stormont's crisis

  • Stormont's political upheaval was sparked by allegations that Provisional IRA members were involved in the murder of Kevin McGuigan Sr
  • Row erupted after a senior Sinn Féin member was arrested as part of the inquiry into Mr McGuigan's death. He was later released without charge
  • Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson stepped aside; all but one of his Democratic Unionist Party ministers resigned
  • Finance Minister Arlene Foster is now acting first minister

Read more on how the crisis unfolded

The assessment, to be published in mid-October, will be used to inform parties at Northern Ireland's political talks.

Ms Villiers said she would also establish a fund to tackle organised crime associated with paramilitary groups.

The two unionist parties said they would join cross-party talks on Monday.

Unionists had said the issue of continued paramilitary activity was crucial to their involvement.

Mr Robinson, 66, was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Saturday. A DUP spokesperson said it was as a result of a reaction to medication.

He was discharged from hospital on Sunday after being admitted as a precaution.

A DUP spokesperson said Mr Robinson "will meet party colleagues regarding the talks process" at Stormont on Monday.

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