Northern Ireland

First minister: No movement on legacy issues before assembly election

Image caption The first minister said that 'she had to be honest with victims'

First Minister Arlene Foster has said she does not believe there will be any movement over how to deal with victims of the Troubles and the legacy of the past before elections this year.

Mrs Foster was appearing at her first question time as Northern Ireland's first minister.

She said that she "had to be honest with victims".

A deal last November resolved a crisis at Stormont but did not find a solution over how to address the past.

Mrs Foster was asked by Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle over whether she was disappointed that the 'Fresh Start' deal failed to address the legacy of the Troubles.

'Short timescale'

She responded that "great work" had been carried out and a "comprehensive agreement" was close to being agreed.

"That's why it was important to engage with our own government, with the government of the Republic of Ireland and, most importantly, with the victims' sector as well to try to move this issue forward," she added.

However, Mrs Foster said that an agreement would not happen before the assembly election in May.

"I just don't think we're going to be able to deal with those issues in the short timescale that we have," she said.

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