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DUP blocks election of Assembly speaker as MLAs return to Stormont

The DUP has blocked the election of a Speaker at the Stormont Assembly in protest at the Northern Ireland Protocol, sparking a new political crisis in the region. The party’s leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said he is sending a “clear message” to the EU and the UK Government about resolving issues with the post-Brexit trading arrangement. But Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill accused the DUP of “denying democracy”. The failure to elect a Speaker leaves the Stormont Assembly unable to function.

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