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Live Reporting

Paul Lawlor, Chris Andrews, Judith Cummings and Luke Sproule

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight


    A day can be a long time in Northern Ireland politics.

    At 00:01 this morning, an order to halt checks on goods entering Northern Ireland via the Irish Sea came into effect as part of the DUP's ongoing oppositon to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Friday will begin without a first or deputy first minister in post at Stormont.

    What it means for legislation and the possibility of an early election remains to be seen.

    Thank you for joining today's live coverage, with much more to follow on the BBC News NI website throughout the night.

  2. A crisis that's not needed - Doug Beattie

    Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie described the resignation of the first minister as a "manufactured crisis" that will lead to the "instability of Northern Ireland".

    Video content

    Video caption: Beattie reacts to Stormont crisis
  3. Victims commissioner will be appointed

    Jayne McCormack

    BBC News NI political correspondent

    The BBC understands that the first and deputy first ministers are expected to sign off the appointment of a victims commissioner later.

    It had been at risk of not being signed off because of Paul Givan’s resignation from office.

    But a Stormont source said the decision was due to be one of their final acts in office before both are no longer in post.

  4. O'Neill wants party leader meeting on legislation

    The DUP has taken its decision because it has lost a unionist majority electorally and are "not getting their own way", Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill tells BBC Newsline.

    "This is reckless by all measures, it is absolutely reckless for wider society," the outgoing deputy first minister says.

    "I wanted to stand up on 11 March and make an apology to the victims of historical institutional abuse."

    Michelle O'Neill

    "The DUP have taken that away from those victims," she continues.

    "That is hugely damaging to those victims who have been failed at every turn."

    Ms O'Neill, who loses her position along with Paul Givan, effective from midnight, says she wants to meet party leaders on Friday to discuss fast-tracking legislation "to protect the progress that has been made".

  5. 'Protocol has poisoned politics'

    The Northern Ireland Protocol has "poisoned politics" over the past two years, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons tells BBC Newsline.

    The DUP MLA says he has a list "as long as my arm" of businesses which have expressed concern about issues they face.

    "The protocol is not working for everybody right now and it's causing problems for businesses and consumers and that is the boil that needs to be lanced," the minister continues.

    BBC News NI Political Editor Enda McClafferty interviews Gordon Lyons
    Image caption: BBC News NI political editor Enda McClafferty interviews Gordon Lyons

    Mr Lyons says the government needs to deliver "on what they promised" in dealings with the EU.

    "The Belfast Agreement has been torn up," he adds, explaining that many unionists believe their concerns are being ignored.

    Asked if the DUP wanted an early election, Mr Lyons says that is up to the Northern Ireland secretary, but "we want to go to the electorate and say enough is enough".

  6. More reaction and analysis on The View

    The View

    Still hungry for more after a day which saw the resignation of the first minister and the descent of Northern Ireland into another political crisis?

    If so, you're in luck, The View will be live on BBC One NI from 10:35 GMT with live reaction and analysis.

  7. 'I am sorry abuse victims have not had apology' - Donaldson

    Video content

    Video caption: Donaldson sorry abuse survivors yet to receive apology
  8. Serious matter for the assembly

    Speaker Alex Maskey says he will ask for a sitting of the assembly on or before 10 February to provide an opportunity for the first and deputy first minister positions to be filled.

    In a letter to MLAs, he writes there is "much commentary" around legislation which is being considered at Westminster which could allow the assembly to function for longer after the first and deputy first minister resign.

    Alex Maskey

    At present, Paul Givan's resignation triggers a seven-day process to re-nominate.

    A failure to do so will leave it up to the Northern Ireland secretary to call an election.

    Mr Maskey says he has to work with the "legal position which exists now" and the vacancies are a "serious matter for the assembly".

    He continues: "I appreciate that these matters will be a cause for concern and that all members will wish to see these issues resolved as quickly as possible. I will update the assembly as necessary."

  9. Irish government 'abandoned consent principle'

    The Irish government has taken a "partisan" stance on the Northern Ireland Protocol, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has claimed.

    "It is for the Irish government to explain to the people of Northern Ireland why they are continuing to ignore the concerns of unionists," he tells reporters.

    "Why they have abandoned the principle of consensus, why they no longer take the view that significant matters that affect the future of Northern Ireland should have the consent of both unionists and nationalists."

    The DUP leader's comments follow Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin saying he was "deeply concerned about the latest developments" at Stormont and his belief the DUP's action was a "very damaging move".

  10. DUP leader made the wrong decision - Beattie

    Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie has said Sir Jeffrey Donaldon's decision to withdraw Paul Givan as first minister was the "wrong decision".

    "I don't think it will work in the long term," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme.

    "This is 3 February and we've had our first minister resign, on 3 March we will have no first minister and the protocol is likely still to be here, and every month after that."

    UUP leader Doug Beattie
    Image caption: Doug Beattie has said Sir Jeffrey made the "wrong decision".

    Asked if the resignation might give the UK government leverage reach a fresh agreement with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol, he said: "An agreement is reached not because a first minister has resigned.

    "An agreement reached is going to be because people are working and talking to come up with a solution, and there are solutions there".

  11. 'Blow to the morale of healthcare staff'

    BBC News NI health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly has the latest from the British Medical Association, which says another political crisis is "the last thing we need" and a blow to the morale of healthcare staff.

    View more on twitter
  12. Allister says Givan resignation overdue

    Jim Allister says the first minister's resignation is "about time".

    “We have long said that if the price of Stormont is the implementation of the protocol, that it was a price no unionist should pay, or ever should have paid," the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) leader said.

    He describes the Northern Ireland Protocol as "so fundamentally destructive of our integral position within the United Kingdom".

    TUV leader Jim Allister
  13. Health service requires stability

    Marie-Louise Connolly

    BBC News NI Health Correspondent

    After a tumultuous two years Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Service is facing even more uncertainty.

    Still knee deep in the pandemic – the health service and the public require stability not instability, the known not the unknown.

    Clearly the current political crisis will not help an already fragile system that is still reeling from the impact of strike action in 2019.

    View more on twitter

    While Robin Swann has attempted to tackle much of what was in his to-do box, due to the pandemic many issues remain unresolved.

    For instance, hospital waiting lists, which continue to soar.

    When the NI Executive was resuscitated in January 2020 the lists had increased to over 308,000.

    Now they are in excess of 350,000 and rising.

    The system needs to operate within a stable structure - not one that’s in political limbo.

  14. Donaldson sorry abuse survivors yet to receive apology

    DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson says he is sorry that victims of historical institutional abuse have yet to receive an official apology.

    The statement was expected to be made by Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers on 11 March.

    "We have supported them throughout their case, we supported them in getting a scheme that provided them with support, much needed and overdue support," the DUP leader continues.

    "I am determined to ensure that apology is forthcoming."


    Speaking to reporters outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sir Jeffrey says his party is having discussions with the deputy first minister to ensure that "decisions that were to be taken are taken".

    "It will not be the DUP who will be found wanting in putting through the measures that are required to deliver these things," he adds.

  15. A nod to an early election

    Stephen Walker

    BBC News NI Political Correspondent

    Sir Jeffrey's speech was a very lengthy speech, a bit like a conference speech. In many ways I thought it was an election speech.

    Some key points: He said the protocol represented an existential threat to the union, he used the phrase regularly in the speech "we've had enough", and there were quite a few digs at his political opponents.

    I was struck by the line when Sir Jeffrey says, "It is time for the people across Northern Ireland to have their say" - well that is a nod to an early election.

    From that point of view you have almost got Sinn Féin and the DUP on the same page.

  16. Taoiseach 'deeply concerned'

    Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin is “deeply concerned” about Paul Givan's resignation.

    “It is absolutely vital for peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland that the executive is delivering for the people of Northern Ireland, particularly now as we emerge from the Covid pandemic,” his spokesman told PA.

    “The protocol is part of an international treaty agreed and ratified by the UK and EU, to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its dimensions.

    “The UK has an obligation under international law, and under its own domestic law, to ensure it meets is obligations under the protocol.

    Micheál Martin

    “The current talks between the EU and the UK and must be given every chance to succeed. The commission has put forward serious proposals which directly address the concerns about outstanding issues on implementation of the protocol.

    “I would urge the DUP to return to full engagement with all the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement and avoid any action that could damage peace and stability in Northern Ireland.”

  17. Watch: Paul Givan announces his resignation

    Video content

    Video caption: Being first minister the 'privilege of my life'
  18. Orange Order welcomes DUP action

    The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland says Paul Givan's resignation as first minister was an "inevitable consequence" of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    It welcomes the steps taken in the past 24 hours by unionist politicians in opposition to the protocol.

    Orange Order

    "It is hoped that through these actions, the UK government and EU representatives will finally recognise, and move to resolve, the very serious concerns held by unionists," the organisation says.

    "Collectively, unionists need to see Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom restored, with unfettered access for all goods moving within the UK’s internal market– as well as the removal of the powers of foreign courts and legislatures in the affairs of Northern Ireland."

  19. Who is Paul Givan?

    Paul Givan

    Paul Givan became Northern Ireland's youngest first minister in June 2021 after an internal DUP revolt.

    Now his time in that role is over, at least for the time being.

    Read more about his political journey and his path to the top job.