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Hillary Clinton calls DUP MLAs opposed to Windsor Framework to step down and allow others to form a Stormont government

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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

DUP leader Jeffery Donaldson speaking to the media at the Ireland Funds 31st National Gala (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

DUP leader Jeffery Donaldson speaking to the media at the Ireland Funds 31st National Gala (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media at Howard University in Washington, DC (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media at Howard University in Washington, DC (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Michelle O'Neill on stage during the 'Women at the Helm' conference at Georgetown University in Washington, DC (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Michelle O'Neill on stage during the 'Women at the Helm' conference at Georgetown University in Washington, DC (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has suggested that DUP Assembly members opposed to the Windsor Framework should resign and allow the others to form a new government at Stormont.

The former US secretary was speaking in Washington DC, where the build-up to St Patrick’s Day has been marked by the traditional visit to the US by Irish politicians of all shades of green — and some orange.

However, the impasse at Stormont and uncertainty over the DUP’s position on the Windsor Framework has caused friction.

Mrs Clinton told the BBC the parties here had been elected to form a government and if they couldn’t, they should “resign and let someone from their party who is willing to be part of a new government move forward”.

“Let’s get the government up and going... My thought always is you never agree with somebody 100pcof the time. Find the 60, 70pc of what you do agree on, get it done and then continue to talk and, you know, argue about what remains,” she said.

“So let’s get the government up and going. Let’s do the things government is expected to do.”

Earlier, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson suggested one senior US politician needs to “read some history books”.

Chuck Schumer, the most senior politician in the US Senate, had used a speech delivered to the annual Ireland Funds dinner in Washington to urge the DUP to return to Stormont.

“Now the Windsor Framework has been announced, I sincerely hopes it clears the way for the DUP to join Sinn Fein in a power-sharing agreement,” he said.

“I say to all parties in the North, but especially the DUP, let’s get to the people’s business, the business of power sharing and self-governing.

“As majority leader of the US Senate, which decides on treaties, I will not support any trade deal between the US and the UK if any settlement undermines the Good Friday Agreement.”

The remarks led Sir Jeffrey to encourage Mr Schumer to learn more about the situation.

“I would urge the senator to read some history books. Maybe he’d learn a little bit more about what really happens and the reality of the situation,” Mr Donaldson told Sky News.

“We’re saying the [UK] government needs to go further and to dig deeper to ensure that what we get not only works for here and now, but is future-proof.”



Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s visit will culminate today in a high-profile ceremony to hand over a crystal bowl of shamrocks to President Joe Biden at the White House, after having breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mr Varadkar also said there is currently a window of opportunity to get the Good Friday Agreement working again, but no reason for a border poll.

Speaking to reporters at Howard University, he added: “The Good Friday Agreement does provide for a border poll, it’s there in black and white, but it says it should only happen when the secretary of state forms the opinion that there is a majority north and south for unification. That just isn’t the case at the moment.

“If you look at the last Northern Ireland Assembly elections, the number of nationalist MLAs actually went down. So I don’t think that should be the focus of our deliberations now. We should be focusing on trying to get the Good Friday Agreement working again, as it was intended 25 years ago, and there is a window of opportunity now to do that and that has to be the focus.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s Stormont leader, Michelle O’Neill, has told Washington DC’s National Press Club that, as “incoming first minister”, she was “prepared to work across party lines”.

“As the eyes of the world turn to Belfast once more, let’s take this opportunity to attract investment, create jobs for our young people and together deliver the change people demand and rightfully deserve,” she said.


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