NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris vows to call December election if Stormont deadline missed even by a minute

The Foreign Secretary for Northern Ireland has promised to hold a general election “at one minute past midnight” on October 28 if Stormont is not restored.

Chris Heaton-Harris confirmed that this would be followed by a “relatively short campaign period” with Election Day taking place before Christmas.

Pressing for an exact date, he said December 8 or 12 was “in the right zone.”

The Northern Ireland Secretary is grilled by members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, including SDLP MP Claire Hanna, who asked what he was doing to revive decentralization.

“If we don’t get reinstatement to the executive branch by one minute past midnight on October 28, I will call new elections,” he said.

“That’s what the law requires and that’s what I will do.”

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LR: Michael Ellis KC, James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Chris Heaton-Harris, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Ranil Jayawardena, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs leave 10 Downing Street ( Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Mr Heaton Harris said he had met with virtually every MLA and MP here who wanted to speak to him and all MPs.

Ms. Hanna questioned the usefulness, since “the same cast and characters” would appear on the other side.

But the foreign secretary said he saw “no scope for emergency legislation” that would be needed to avoid another election.

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is underway.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ni-secretary-chris-heaton-harris-vows-to-call-december-election-if-stormont-deadline-missed-even-by-a-minute-42076217.html NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris vows to call December election if Stormont deadline missed even by a minute

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