Jeffery Donaldson, the leader of the DUP, has been threatening to collapse the institutions, by removing executive ministers if article 16 is not triggered by the British government. A threat that he has now backed down on after assurances from the Brexit Secretary that she will suspend aspects of the post-Brexit deal if agreement with the EU cannot be reached.
The Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill was narrowly rejected by Stormont in December. Introduced by DUP MLA Paul Givan and backed by anti-choice MLAs in the SDLP, UUP and Alliance, the bill attempted to restrict abortion access in cases of severe fetal impairment.
Edwin Poots’s brief tenure as DUP leader has come to an abrupt and somewhat farcical end. The nature of his rapid rise and fall, however, underlines the deep instability, not just in his party, but in the ‘peace process’ as a whole.
The Socialist Party welcomes the announcement from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) that all charges related to last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Belfast and Derry are to be dropped. The PPS recognised that the events were organised in a responsible manner, aimed at minimising the risk of Covid, and that they related to a matter of “important social concern”. All fines against those who took part in these protests – and a similar protest against gender violence in Belfast, organised by ROSA in the wake of Sarah Everard’s killing – must be immediately rescinded and reimbursed.