Northern Ireland

Stormont crisis: DUP ministers could end in-out policy

Arlene Foster
Image caption Northern Ireland's Acting First Minister Arlene Foster is the only unionist minister in the Stormont Executive after a protest over alleged IRA involvement in a murder

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said it could drop its policy of in-out ministerial positions when a report is published on paramilitary activity.

Northern Ireland's Acting First Minister Arlene Foster told the BBC's The View programme the policy could end when the report is published next week.

The DUP is currently moving its ministers in and out of the Executive in response to Kevin McGuigan's murder.

His killing sparked a political crisis at Stormont over the status of the IRA.

It led to a breakdown in trust between unionist ministers and Sinn Féin, which has repeatedly condemned Mr McGuigan's murder.

Mrs Foster is the only unionist minister left in the Executive after a police assessment that members of the Provisional IRA may have been involved in the fatal shooting.

She is standing in for DUP leader Peter Robinson, who stood aside as first minister and warned it would not be "business as usual" at Stormont until the issue of paramilitaries was dealt with.

Last month, the government appointed an independent panel to assess the current status of paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Foster told The View: "We will look at the panel's report.

"If we believe there has been substantial progress in relation to it, then we will seriously consider making that move."

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