05/03/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


05/03/2017

Mark Carruthers with news and analysis of the Northern Ireland Assembly election.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to an extended Sunday Politics.

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The votes have been counted, the new 90-strong Assembly's

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been filled and now the blood-letting begins.

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The Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has already

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His resignation speech includes flash photography.

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The electorate disagreed, they did not give me a mind a big enough for

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me to feel justified in continuing in this position, so I shall not

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continue in this position. And could the DUP leader now be

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coming under pressure, too? I'll be asking newly-elected MLAs

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from the five big parties what next for Arlene Foster,

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and if they believe Stormont can get And we'll also hear from the smaller

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parties, the successful Independent Claire Sugden,

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and the Secretary of State - and we'll round everything off

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with analysis from our Political Editor, Mark Devenport,

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number-cruncher Nicholas Whyte and commentators Professor Pete Shirlow

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and Patricia MacBride. Well, it was an unprecedented

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election for many different reasons - the main one being that

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with the nationalist surge and the loss of unionist seats,

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there is now no longer a unionist Add in the reduced number of seats -

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down from 108 to 90 - and you have a recipe

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for major electoral upset. With that in mind, and just

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in case you've been hiding in a bunker all weekend,

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here's how things played out all through Friday

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and into the early hours The DUP remain the biggest party

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at Stormont on 28 seats - They only lost one seat -

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quite an achievement The SDLP are now the third

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largest party, coming back with a dozen seats,

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the same number of seats they held Next up - the Ulster Unionists

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on ten seats - a total that cost It was a good day for

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Alliance as they held The Greens held their two seats,

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while the TUV held its single seat, occupied by Jim Allister of course,

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while People Before Profit are reduced to a solo seat -

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Gerry Carroll in West Beflast. And there's one Independent -

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Claire Sugden, the former Justice Minister, who we'll

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hear from later. With just a whisker now separating

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the DUP and Sinn Fein in terms of seats and votes,

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the future shape of devolution and power-sharing will now be

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on the negotiation table. My guests will be reflecting on that

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in just a moment, but first our Political Correspondent,

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Enda McClafferty, has the story We have had dramatic collections

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before, but not quite like this. -- elections.

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So we now have 18 politicians officially unemployed and looking

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for a job, some with lots of experience, and some about. We also

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by the weight have jobs vacant seat which now needs to be filled sooner

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rather than later. But the real story from the selection is the

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power shift at Stormont with unionists for the first time ever no

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longer holding the majority. Arlene Foster predicted a brutal campaign

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but didn't expect such a brutal result for unionism. This election

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was a disaster for unionism, they've lost their overall majority and they

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may never regain it. From going from a powerful position only last May,

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2016, unionism is in crisis this morning. The DUP lost ten seed,

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dropping to 28. And some big names paid the price. Former minister

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Nelson McCausland. There is a life beyond politics, and other things I

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can do. Is that it now, is at finish? Did I say that? Remember

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this? When Arlene Foster was the darling of the DUP in the last

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election. Roll the clock forward ten months and another new leader is

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entering the spotlight. I think it is amazing, we are delighted, thank

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you, you have come out in strong numbers. The vote has increased,

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people know action needed to be taken. Sinn Fein's gamble paid off,

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as their vote rose by 4%. They sold their selection on hold and resolve

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issues of equality and legacy and all the things that have been

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blocked by the DUP the many years, and people will be expecting

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delivery. There will be a period of grace, where they knew we were going

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into negotiations. And if Sinn Fein is to deliver, will it be when

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Arlene Foster as business? I think the difficulty is there is now

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there's a very firm image, a caricature of her as a hate figure,

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someone who is too extreme to do business with nationalism. That is

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damaging for her, it helped her in the campaign for the boat, but now

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that is a huge difficulty for her. The DUP leader wasn't the only one

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feeling the heat. Even before the count ended, Mike Nesbitt knew the

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game was up. Losing six seats and falling behind the SDLP in the

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political order sealed his fate. For three months I have been criticising

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another party leader for not taking responsibility for actions that

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occurred on their watch, so it would be the height of hypocrisy about

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didn't take full responsibility for the results to date for the Ulster

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Unionists. In pure terms, the buck stops here. But he was in the

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party's only big casualty. Enoch Powell said our political career

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ends in tears. I think I prefer that I am too tired to laugh and too old

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to cry. They now have an Assembly team that is very light in terms of

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experience, they got no leader, it'll be a challenge to get that in,

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and I think, what is the direction for them? What now for the official

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opposition? The SDLP had a good election, retaining its trial seeds

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of a few familiar faces making a comeback. But it came at a cost,

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they no longer have an Assembly boys in west Belfast. I feel much more

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for the party and people in the committee then I do for myself --

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Assembly voice. Warning signs, where the SDLP was appalled by Sinn Fein.

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So can we expect the party to return to the opposition benches? That

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remains open to DSL DP, it depends on the nature of any agreement that

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is reached between Sinn Fein and the DUP. It was also a good election for

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Alliance, as they record of the highest vote in decades. We talked

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about what we would do differently and how we would try to re-establish

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the Assembly on a different photo where it would be sustainable and

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able to deliver. People respond that I connected with the message. The

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Green Party held its two seats, and Claire Sugden is also returning. But

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for the TUV, it was another election which, failed to convince doubters

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to return more than one candidate. And disappointment for People Before

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Profit, who lost their seat. This was the election where voters

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re-engage the politics, as the turnout was up ten percentage points

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on the last poll. So what do voters make the result? I thought it was

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grey, the number of women across all the parties and a lot younger

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people, so I am trying to be very optimistic, and they hope to get

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together and get some deal. It is a shake-up. I think Arlene was wrong

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in her attitudes and aggression. And I feel she should have stepped

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aside. Unionism is dysfunctional at the moment, it lacks leadership and

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direction. Being a DUP voter, I can see it. The focus now switches to

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Stormont where tomorrow MLAs will return to face the same challenges

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they left behind six weeks ago. They're still the "big five"

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parties in political terms, but the distances between them,

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and even their order, has changed. I'm joined now by Simon

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Hamilton of the DUP, Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy,

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Claire Hanna of the SDLP, the Ulster Unionist Robin Swann

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and the Alliance leader, Weight you are all very welcome to

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the programme. Flank either being here today. Arlene Foster has use to

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it weakest position in the history of Northern Ireland, it has lost its

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overall majority at Stormont. It was a disappointing election, not just

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for the DUP, with the whole unionist family. Let's not forget there were

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lots of addictions before the election, many taking place in the

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studio, that the DUP's boat would crumble, it went up by 20 5000. We

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have had the single biggest vote of any party since the return of the

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Assembly back in 1998. Sadly that vote not been converted into more

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seats than the 28 we had. But we still have a big mandate, we saw the

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biggest party. We have to reflect on the lessons of that election and we

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will do it in due course. Your boat was up, but your share was your role

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vote was up. You are down 1.1%. Many were saying our vote would go down,

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it went up. It went down by 1.1%. How much of the responsibility for

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what was a disappointing day, you just said it, it should be put on

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Arlene Foster? Gavin Robinson said a bad day be unionism. Not a good day

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for the DUP. A bad day at the office. You've got to sit down and

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think, we hung the campaign on Hollywood Foster, critics said she

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didn't conduct herself well, she made mistakes. You've lost ten

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seats. It is disappointing we've lost so many seed, that so many

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colleagues and returning. We will look at the lessons of this, we will

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reflect on it. Could one of those lessons may be be Arlene Foster

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isn't as sure-footed as maybe you thought she was? Absolutely not.

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I've known Arlene for many years, she's very capable. You still think

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that? She has shown that down the years. She has shown it in her

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leadership, not just of the DUP but Northern Ireland. She has my full

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support, she has the support of the party and most importantly, she has

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the support of 225,000 people across Northern Ireland who voted for the

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DUP. They increased the mandate. It hasn't been converted into as many

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seats. She also galvanise Republicans, say many. That is why

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Sinn Fein did well. Jonathan explainers, Sinn Fein seized an

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opportunity that was presented around this. That was the excuse

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they use the calling the election, there were many reasons.

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There were bigger issues. That is what people... When I was going

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around the doors, people realise this was much more than it was about

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it. They knew what Sinn Fein was doing, so our vote increase.

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Disappointingly that wasn't translated into the number of seeds

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we would like. We were expected to lung some -- lose some of the seeds.

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You are down to 28, unionism has 44% of the seats in the chamber, where

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it used to have more than 50%. This is an important question. Which is

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more important... I can't believe you thought it would be a good idea

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to go below 50%. That is the first time you've done that since 1921.

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You can't tell me it isn't significant. Which is more important

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to you, retaining Arlene Foster in a position of leadership as First

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Minister or the future of devolved government? If you have to make a

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choice, which do you go for? We did set a benchmark, we said it would be

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a close election. People mocked those, people laughed at us, said we

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were crying wolf. You've made that point. The message coming back to me

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in the election, to all of my colleagues and everyone here today,

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in spite of the differences we have, people want to see a functioning and

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working Assembly delivering for them. I do need you do and this

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question, I will tease it out more. Sinn Fein are not prepared to work

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with Arlene in an executive, she can continue in her leadership, but they

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won't work with as an executive. I'm asking you now, and I want you to be

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clear, if that continues to be the case, is it possible, as Gavin

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Robinson suggested on the radio last night, that may be Arlene Foster

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might just consider stepping aside to allow devolution to be restored?

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The God we want to see devolution restored, the working Assembly

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delivering -- we want to see devolution restored. It is not the

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Sinn Fein to dictate who our nominee is. It is not reasonable to do so.

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The DUP could have objective. Gavin Robinson said he wasn't ruling it

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out if it was the decision by Arlene Foster, they would back. The party

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does support. Should she step aside to make sure the devolution is

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restored? No, she shouldn't. She has my support, she has the party's

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support and most importantly, she has the support of 225,000 people

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who voted for her and the party. It is Arlene or nobody? I want Arlene

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to listen to the talks. I want to see her going back into government.

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How do you respond to that? If it is the position of the DUP during these

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negotiations, life will not be breezed back into the Executive. You

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have drawn a line in the sand by saying that Sinn Fein will not work

:15:54.:15:56.

with Arlene Foster in an Executive this side of the enquiry. That

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hasn't changed? When you look at the opening piece of your programme

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today, I think we have a recipe for power-sharing. We have power blocs

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in the Assembly with an equal basis. We have to get our act together,

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ensure that the Assembly and the Executive working. The message

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received on the doorstep is all of that but also included that we have

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to go back and ensure that it's based on the agreements that were

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previously agreed to at the implication of those. You accept the

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point that it is nothing to do with Michelle O'Neill or any of the rest

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of your Assembly team who leads the DUP? We not dictating who leads the

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DUP. But you are deep rating that she will not be First Minister? The

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DUP will have two decide... So you are dictating? To continue with

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that, if Sinn Fein nominates Arlene Foster as First Minister,, your

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leader will not work with her as Deputy First Minister? Sinn Fein

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will not support that nomination. So that is a red line as far as Sinn

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Fein is concerned? That is an obstacle to devolution. You are

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saying, here is Aaron line in the sand, we are not willing to accept

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that part of the process. She cannot be First Minister. We were clear on

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the doorstep, we were clear during the election, we have a mandate

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which just told us, and we said to the people that we would not support

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Arlene Foster as joint First Minister. So they should respect

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your mandate, but you do not respect hers? The DUP can nominate whoever

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they want as First Minister. If they nominate Arlene Foster ahead of the

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publication of the RHI report, Sinn Fein will not support that. How do

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you respond to that? We're heading into talks and negotiations, had

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we've gone through many over the last number of years. Often, people

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have said... They say it is impossible to find a way through the

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difficulties we face. We will go into those talks in the upcoming

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week... But you are not saying there is a line in the sand today that

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Arlene Foster would not step aside? You are leaving wiggle room to say,

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maybe if necessary during the negotiation, we may submit to what

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Sinn Fein is saying if they want to resurrect evolution? We have

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received a mandate, a strong mandate which has increased from the last

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election, although that has not increased the number of seats. We

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are still the leading party within the Assembly, and Arlene has

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received that mandate and endorsement of her dealership. I

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want to see her not only leading us into the talks to restore

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devolution, which is what people want. We don't... I understand that.

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You make that point. We want to get devolution back up and running. I

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will make this point. As I said at the start of my interview, there is

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a recipe within the Assembly for a stable Assembly and a stable

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Executive. We cannot ignore the issues that brought the election

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about, alleged corruption at the heart of government. There is in

:20:01.:20:06.

competent at the heart of government. The increased turnout at

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the polls shows that the public were very tuned into the discussion.

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Final sentence. We cannot have a kind of power-sharing he is talking

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about, when you have diktats about who heads up the DUP in government.

:20:26.:20:28.

We have heard a lot from Sinn Fein over the last couple of weeks. He is

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entitled to have a negotiating position. I hear lots coming from

:20:33.:20:42.

Sinn Fein about respect, but they are not respecting the mandate that

:20:43.:20:45.

the DUP has received. There are other people at the table who have

:20:46.:20:50.

mandate as well. Claire Hanna, you had a strong performance in the

:20:51.:20:54.

SDLP, stronger than people were expecting, perhaps more than you

:20:55.:20:58.

were expecting. You kept the 12 seats. What do you make of the

:20:59.:21:02.

difficulties with the two main parties in terms of whether or not

:21:03.:21:07.

it is going to be possible, giving the positions they have backed

:21:08.:21:09.

themselves into, it seems to me, whether Stormont can function again

:21:10.:21:18.

in the short-term? We're sitting without a budget or a Brexit plan.

:21:19.:21:22.

The two parties beside me did get the largest mandate. Is this a lot

:21:23.:21:28.

of bluff and bluster this morning? We need to know which of these

:21:29.:21:33.

issues is red hot and so on. It is fair to say that Arlene Foster was

:21:34.:21:38.

the name that came up on most of the doorsteps we knocked on. Not in a

:21:39.:21:43.

positive way? Absolute disrespect for anybody who did not share her

:21:44.:21:48.

view, whether in Brexit or identity issues. People will take it... Find

:21:49.:21:58.

it difficult to have her as First Minister. It is up to Arlene Foster

:21:59.:22:08.

and the DUP. People thought it was worth having an election, and we

:22:09.:22:12.

hope that they will look at the bigger picture. That is an issue for

:22:13.:22:18.

that party to decide. Can I ask you this? Would you take a seat in the

:22:19.:22:28.

Executive? We're going into government in May. We are not up

:22:29.:22:36.

for, take it or leave it, here are the scraps. You would want to be in

:22:37.:22:41.

the Executive, that things need to change? Absolutely. Some of the

:22:42.:22:46.

reforms have become academic in terms of the DUP not being able to

:22:47.:22:49.

throw petitions of concern around everywhere they want to. In May, and

:22:50.:22:55.

over the last few years, there were issues we try to bring through the

:22:56.:22:58.

Executive and put into the programme for government and we were rebuffed

:22:59.:23:02.

by the two parties, who did not want to negotiate. Secondly, as is well

:23:03.:23:06.

documented, we did not have access to the same information. Decisions

:23:07.:23:11.

were made by the two large parties in advance. We are for it but we

:23:12.:23:14.

will not have the power excluding government that we had for a lot of

:23:15.:23:22.

the last ten years. Robin Swann, it is fair to say that it was nothing

:23:23.:23:30.

short of a disaster? I don't fix. We only had three months to work in the

:23:31.:23:34.

Executive. We were only there for a short amount of time. We were

:23:35.:23:41.

becoming effective. The voters passed their judgment on Thursday,

:23:42.:23:45.

and they did not look favourably on the Ulster Unionist Party. And like

:23:46.:23:50.

it or not, Mike Nesbitt has fallen on his sword. The voters increased

:23:51.:23:56.

our vote and a percentage vote on Thursday as well. You say he fell on

:23:57.:24:06.

his sword, but he showed the character of leadership in his

:24:07.:24:12.

utility, taking the ultimate decision, he said the buck stopped

:24:13.:24:21.

with him. He said he would not go any further because you across

:24:22.:24:23.

possibility for the leadership. Someone else has to take up the

:24:24.:24:29.

mantle. And then Mike Nesbitt will move on to pastures new, and we have

:24:30.:24:39.

-- we had a conversation on the election night, you told me it would

:24:40.:24:48.

be up to Mrs Swan as to whether or not your name would be in the hat.

:24:49.:24:52.

What was her decision? I've spoken to her another times. Is the first

:24:53.:25:01.

time I seen her in a number of weeks. She will have about at our

:25:02.:25:09.

AGM on the 8th of April. She has a lot of power! If my name is on the

:25:10.:25:14.

ballot paper, I hope she will be voting for me. Is that a distinct

:25:15.:25:18.

possibility? Let's be honest, uni have ten people to choose from, some

:25:19.:25:28.

of them are only just in the door. There is a misconception out there.

:25:29.:25:36.

Jenny might. Who knows? It could be somebody else. It is more than

:25:37.:25:40.

likely to be of the SMB team. You're not ruling yourself up? I'm not at

:25:41.:25:46.

this stage. You will have a lot of work to do if you are taking the

:25:47.:25:50.

reigns over from Mike Nesbitt, because it was a disappointing

:25:51.:25:52.

performance. You will not argue with that, will you? I will not argue.

:25:53.:25:57.

But we did have some good results. Jon Stewart took a seat of Sinn

:25:58.:26:04.

Fein. The number of constituencies where we were coming in... We could

:26:05.:26:12.

be looking at Michael Henderson in south Belfast. The reality is it was

:26:13.:26:17.

a mighty seat Assembly. We are there as the sixth candidate in a number

:26:18.:26:24.

of constituencies. It is case of increasing that vote. In my

:26:25.:26:31.

constituency, we increased our first preference vote by 36%. A solid

:26:32.:26:37.

performance by Alliance, you had eight seats, and you held onto

:26:38.:26:44.

those, and your vote was up 2%. As I made the point earlier, the number

:26:45.:26:49.

of people voting was up substantially. How percentage was

:26:50.:26:54.

also up, today is the highest since 1987. Regardless of the vote being

:26:55.:26:58.

up, how share bid was also increased, which is significant.

:26:59.:27:02.

Mixed messages as far as the middle ground. You're pleased with that. I

:27:03.:27:09.

don't think there is mixed messages in the middle ground. That is not

:27:10.:27:15.

fair. If you include the Ulster Unionist Party as part of the middle

:27:16.:27:18.

ground... You can't, they were part of the hammering that Unionism took.

:27:19.:27:25.

If you look at the middle ground in terms of the Greens, ourselves and

:27:26.:27:31.

so on, we held our ground and increased our overall proportional

:27:32.:27:32.

representation at the Assembly. I think those parties that are not

:27:33.:27:38.

aligned did better than the Unionist parties. I don't think you can lump

:27:39.:27:40.

that together. I think the differential turnout did benefit

:27:41.:27:46.

nationalists parties, and the STL be benefited from that. Because Sinn

:27:47.:27:50.

Fein got their vote out. Arlene Foster is to thank for that. As far

:27:51.:27:56.

as the future of your party is concerned, you're part of the

:27:57.:28:01.

opposition last time, but not the official opposition. Would you want

:28:02.:28:05.

to be part of that, or would you like the Ulster Unionist 's and SDLP

:28:06.:28:10.

to be part of that with you, or will you be in a minority as far as the

:28:11.:28:19.

official opposition be concerned? We will see what happens. There is no

:28:20.:28:22.

indication that it is possible to get an Executive. I think one thing

:28:23.:28:27.

we've learned from this election is people digging in around

:28:28.:28:30.

personalities is a bad choice. If the DUP do not realise that now,

:28:31.:28:34.

they will never realise that. If you look back with the benefit of high

:28:35.:28:40.

-- of hindsight, people would have preferred a step down by Arlene

:28:41.:28:45.

Foster in December brother than the note down in the election. That is

:28:46.:28:53.

not what happened. No, but to dig in around personalities is the wrong

:28:54.:29:00.

route to take. The public see the opportunity for power-sharing to be

:29:01.:29:02.

restored, for progressive politics in this Assembly. The addition of

:29:03.:29:07.

concern is not theoretical, it needs to be addressed, it can still be

:29:08.:29:11.

abused in its current form and that needs to stop. There is the

:29:12.:29:15.

opportunity for us to move forward on a whole host of issues. The

:29:16.:29:21.

public will judge anyone, including Sinn Fein, harshly if they do not

:29:22.:29:25.

take the opportunity presented to make that deliver for them. You are

:29:26.:29:32.

a former party leader, for a time, served as Justice Minister, and the

:29:33.:29:35.

decision was made not to do that in the previous short mandate and went

:29:36.:29:40.

to Claire Sugden instead. To you like the sound of Naomi Long as

:29:41.:29:43.

Justice Minister? You could be offered it.

:29:44.:29:48.

We are not interested whether it goes elsewhere, we are interested in

:29:49.:29:55.

the quality of government we get. We were clear the basis on which we

:29:56.:29:59.

were willing to participate in government and have been willing to

:30:00.:30:02.

pass it in spades on previous occasions where those conditions

:30:03.:30:06.

were met. They would not be met. What we found actually with the

:30:07.:30:10.

collapse of the executive was our estimation of how that executive

:30:11.:30:13.

would play out, it will be dominated by the DUP, they wouldn't show

:30:14.:30:18.

respect, it was proven to be correct. Just briefly, you must have

:30:19.:30:23.

a sense whether you'd like to be inside the executive all out

:30:24.:30:28.

criticising it? What's your hunch? It is not about hunch is, it is

:30:29.:30:32.

fact, if the executive is willing to be progressive and deliver on the

:30:33.:30:36.

issues we are concerned about and to be a proper executive, we would

:30:37.:30:39.

consider if there were opportunities to be part of it. If there are not,

:30:40.:30:45.

we are quite happy to sit in opposition and to do that job

:30:46.:30:50.

effectively. I think we were effective, despite not being in

:30:51.:30:56.

official opposition. Simon Hamilton, D you fancy it at this stage a

:30:57.:31:01.

return to a grand coalition that had four or five parties involved, it

:31:02.:31:05.

would be better than the DUP, better for Sinn Fein because some of the

:31:06.:31:10.

sharp differences might be blurred and little bits in future if that

:31:11.:31:14.

were the case? Would you rather have everybody inside the tent rather

:31:15.:31:19.

than some of them out causing huge trouble? It is a matter for other

:31:20.:31:23.

parties... I know it is, I'm asking you what you think. It may be seen

:31:24.:31:29.

strange as we said here now at the last couple of months to see we had

:31:30.:31:36.

Sinn Fein and the DUP, they had been working quite effectively in

:31:37.:31:40.

government. But it fell apart in December in spectacular fashion.

:31:41.:31:45.

That's why I qualified my remarks. It is a matter for other parties

:31:46.:31:49.

whether they want to join the executive, but what we want to do,

:31:50.:31:55.

whether there are two parties, how many in the executive, if we can get

:31:56.:31:59.

it up and running, we have to get back to that effective delivery,

:32:00.:32:02.

that more joined up approach we were taken before it fell apart. That is

:32:03.:32:07.

the most important thing. People recognise progress had been made, we

:32:08.:32:12.

were working closer. That is a tall order, just say it won't make it

:32:13.:32:17.

happen. You can't waive your magic wand and see all that has been said

:32:18.:32:25.

in the past weeks. There are three things the government has a say, set

:32:26.:32:30.

a budget, have a plan for Brexit and sustain themselves. You didn't do

:32:31.:32:35.

any of them. I am not saying from December onwards it was a wonderful

:32:36.:32:41.

success, but up until then... The wheels came off the cart. There was

:32:42.:32:50.

a piece that said... It was job only executive achievement, it was an

:32:51.:32:54.

opinion piece. We need to get back to that. Regardless of how many are

:32:55.:33:00.

in the executive, we have to deliver on what matters to the people. Jobs

:33:01.:33:07.

and health education. The electorate have retained a recipe for

:33:08.:33:10.

power-sharing as envisaged under the terms. Sinn Fein wants to see

:33:11.:33:17.

power-sharing back at Stormont? There are people who think perhaps

:33:18.:33:21.

Sinn Fein privately has the view that direct rule might be better and

:33:22.:33:26.

it might deliver on some of those... You will scotch that? I want it

:33:27.:33:34.

removed completely. I want power-sharing returner, more powers

:33:35.:33:37.

given to the Assembly and the executive to run government. There a

:33:38.:33:41.

responsibility on all the parties around this table to enter the

:33:42.:33:46.

executive and share power together. It is our responsibility... There

:33:47.:33:55.

was leaking of executive papers... Not by us. Let me finish. One of the

:33:56.:34:00.

complaints as they didn't get the papers. The Ulster Unionist parties

:34:01.:34:13.

are on the middle ground, I'm trying to get my head around that comment.

:34:14.:34:17.

If you look at the landscape and Sinn Fein is at one end, the DUP at

:34:18.:34:22.

the other, it is not reasonable to talk about the middle ground as the

:34:23.:34:27.

other parties. We are at the end that's aboard equality and respect

:34:28.:34:32.

for all our citizens. I will state that. That is what our politics is

:34:33.:34:38.

based on. The three parties beside me, two of them, never supported the

:34:39.:34:44.

budget in ten years. There is a responsibility on all those who

:34:45.:34:47.

enter the executive to work the executive. How do you respond to

:34:48.:34:57.

that? Hang on. Executive papers were leaked and the SDLP never voted for

:34:58.:35:02.

a budget, even though you had administrators in your executive.

:35:03.:35:08.

You can't have it both ways. You can. You can't. We were out. All of

:35:09.:35:13.

the criticisms we made of the executive over the last two and a

:35:14.:35:17.

half terms have been borne out. We said there was a lack of delivery,

:35:18.:35:22.

corruption, power exclusion. Sinn Frain agreed avers, despite telling

:35:23.:35:30.

us it was just sour grapes but ten years -- agreed with us. I think it

:35:31.:35:37.

say we also have a mandate and shouldn't expect to go in and get

:35:38.:35:41.

crumbs from the mandate, little bits and pieces of information and not

:35:42.:35:47.

have any... It is fair to say everyone will look at the Assembly

:35:48.:35:51.

and seat two blocks of a third on the side and one block in the centre

:35:52.:35:56.

ground. I think that was borne out in the transfers that helped achieve

:35:57.:36:00.

a lot of those seats in that middle third, they came from all across

:36:01.:36:06.

acute unity and chose to people. Robin Swann, if you would a leader

:36:07.:36:11.

of Unionist party, which you want to be in the executive or part of the

:36:12.:36:14.

opposition? You wouldn't be Leader of the Opposition, would you want to

:36:15.:36:19.

be part of the opposition criticising the new executive? If

:36:20.:36:25.

this is the future government, this is what we will the exchange we

:36:26.:36:32.

had... Finish the sentence. If this is a future government, there is no

:36:33.:36:38.

hope. If you are part of it, you might get them to behave better.

:36:39.:36:43.

What we saw in the past was those withholding information, a budget

:36:44.:36:47.

not functioning, it was used to punish the smaller parties that were

:36:48.:36:52.

in the executive. The health minister never saw any additional

:36:53.:36:56.

money is coming to help. When the DUP took over help there were ?430

:36:57.:37:05.

million... 20 million withheld. Forgive me for wanting to speak on

:37:06.:37:09.

their behalf, but it might just think everyone needs to grow up

:37:10.:37:13.

around the table a little bit. Those who criticise the way the bigger

:37:14.:37:19.

bodies behave, but themselves are not beyond criticism. Everyone is

:37:20.:37:22.

talking about things being done differently. Is net everyone who

:37:23.:37:29.

need to do things differently? -- isn't it. We did support the budget

:37:30.:37:36.

in the executive. When we got the information in advance, got the

:37:37.:37:40.

opportunity to scrutinise it and negotiate our position. When the

:37:41.:37:43.

budget was dropped on our table half an hour before the vote in the

:37:44.:37:48.

Assembly, we didn't. Why would we? Who in their right mind would be

:37:49.:37:53.

bounced into accepting it, a budget they had no part in shaping? What we

:37:54.:37:57.

have said clearly from the outset, if you want to be partners in

:37:58.:38:00.

government, treat them like partners. If you want to treat

:38:01.:38:05.

people like they aren't your equal, then forget it, because we won't

:38:06.:38:15.

be... What happens next is? Budget process in 1998 saw the budget

:38:16.:38:21.

brought to the Assembly, put through scrutiny committees, voted on,

:38:22.:38:25.

change and amended at four different stages. Not simply presented as a

:38:26.:38:29.

done deal. That is where this executive needs to mandate. Sinn

:38:30.:38:37.

Fein and the DUP carved up the decisions outside the room, walked

:38:38.:38:40.

in, push them through, that is no way to run a government. I want to

:38:41.:38:45.

start looking back and start looking forward. We have a couple minutes

:38:46.:38:50.

left. James Brokenshire said there will be talks process sooner than

:38:51.:38:57.

later. Let me ask you, John, it looks like the man in the driving

:38:58.:39:02.

seat to move that process board is James Brokenshire, but you said he

:39:03.:39:07.

wasn't an honest broker. Will you be at the talks? He will be at the

:39:08.:39:11.

talks, but he's not there to check, he is there as a player. He is part

:39:12.:39:16.

of the problem, so he's got to be part of the solution. His commentary

:39:17.:39:20.

in the months leading up, in relation to Brexit, they have all

:39:21.:39:26.

worsen the problems we face in our society. He has issued the

:39:27.:39:31.

invitation is... Whether he issues invitations are not, there will be

:39:32.:39:37.

talks. So you will be boycotting the talks? The God he has to get it

:39:38.:39:43.

clear that he's not there as an independent -- he has to get it

:39:44.:39:53.

clear in his head. We need to deliver... I do believe it can be

:39:54.:40:03.

delivered. You are prepared to compromise on that if necessary? We

:40:04.:40:07.

are prepared to work on what people from Northern Ireland one, a

:40:08.:40:11.

functioning Assembly that is delivering on issues that are

:40:12.:40:17.

important with him. Claire Hanna, will you be there? Of course. He has

:40:18.:40:22.

not got the best interest of Northern Ireland regarding Brexit,

:40:23.:40:27.

and he has been an activist. I hope he will have the self-awareness to

:40:28.:40:31.

exclude himself. If you sending me e-mails out and issuing invitations,

:40:32.:40:35.

of course we will be participating. We desperately want things to work.

:40:36.:40:40.

Can they be made to work which marked the clock is ticking. Of

:40:41.:40:44.

course they can be made to a parties, the right attitude. Robin

:40:45.:40:51.

Swann? We will be at the talks. Will Mike Nesbitt rerunning it? No. What

:40:52.:41:02.

is his role? Mike as party leader until the AGM, so he will be there.

:41:03.:41:07.

There was a goal from Danny Kennedy to move the process back a little

:41:08.:41:12.

bit because you got an annual meeting up soon, it might bounce you

:41:13.:41:15.

into a quick decision. Should you take your time and think about it?

:41:16.:41:22.

Our AGM is the 9th of April and that is pencilled in. Naomi Long, what is

:41:23.:41:28.

your view on talks? You said you didn't like James Brokenshire's

:41:29.:41:35.

talks. We have to get around the table and make it work, because it

:41:36.:41:41.

will be James Brokenshire in charge, and it ever there was an argument

:41:42.:41:45.

why devolution needs to work, it is because the current man is not an

:41:46.:41:50.

impartial player when it comes to politics.

:41:51.:41:51.

Well, the focus now is on whether or not

:41:52.:41:58.

the newly-elected Assembly can produce a government.

:41:59.:42:01.

The Secretary of State, James Brokenshire,

:42:02.:42:03.

and the Irish Foreign Minister, Charlie Flanagan, have both pledged

:42:04.:42:06.

to work with the parties - and Mr Brokenshire made a short

:42:07.:42:08.

I just want to make a short statement. This week's election has

:42:09.:42:25.

demonstrated the clear desire by the overwhelming majority of people in

:42:26.:42:28.

Northern Ireland for inclusive devolved government. And I

:42:29.:42:32.

congratulate all those who'd been elected. Everyone now has a shared

:42:33.:42:39.

responsibility to engage intensively in the short days available to us to

:42:40.:42:44.

establish a strong and stable administration. Northern Ireland has

:42:45.:42:50.

made great strides forward over the past two decades, and all others

:42:51.:42:55.

must continue this work of building a stable, peaceful and prosperous

:42:56.:42:57.

Northern Ireland that works for everyone, based on the strong and

:42:58.:43:04.

solid foundations of the Belfast agreement, the Good Friday Agreement

:43:05.:43:08.

and its successors. It is with this positive intent that the government

:43:09.:43:13.

's approach as the days ahead. I'll be speaking to party leaders later

:43:14.:43:17.

today and remaining in close contact with the Irish government.

:43:18.:43:19.

The Secretary of State re-iterating his commitment to devolution.

:43:20.:43:21.

And I'm joined now by a member of the previous Executive,

:43:22.:43:24.

the newly re-elected Independent MLA Claire Sugden.

:43:25.:43:30.

Congratulations to you first of all. It was a good performance, your vote

:43:31.:43:38.

was up about 1600 first preferences on last maple top how do you account

:43:39.:43:45.

for it? Was it your high profile? I have a very strong support within my

:43:46.:43:50.

own constituency. I've spent the past three years since becoming an

:43:51.:43:54.

MP getting out and no my constituents. I am delighted with my

:43:55.:44:01.

performance, 50% up on last year. Hopefully we can see how we will

:44:02.:44:05.

take the company board. Your decision to go into the executive

:44:06.:44:09.

worked in your favour because it looks like it didn't work in the

:44:10.:44:14.

favour of, for example, the Ulster Unionist party, a lot of people

:44:15.:44:17.

wondered whether something similar would happen to you in terms of your

:44:18.:44:23.

decision? But not so? I think my constituents were content I took the

:44:24.:44:26.

role because they saw the opportunity for them that I would

:44:27.:44:31.

have a seat at the table so I could influence decisions. You did admit

:44:32.:44:39.

to meet in an interview last week that you were very sorely let down

:44:40.:44:44.

by the DUP and Sinn Fein, they invited you into the executive, they

:44:45.:44:47.

couldn't function without you in the role of justice minister. They said

:44:48.:44:51.

they wanted to work in partnership, the whole thing collapsed when the

:44:52.:44:55.

wheels came off the cart in December. And you did say you felt

:44:56.:44:59.

let down. I was let down, they asked me to do a job and it away from me.

:45:00.:45:06.

Of course I was let down. You did make a mistake. You said I have no

:45:07.:45:11.

shopping list, I want to do the right thing to Northern Ireland.

:45:12.:45:14.

Maybe if you'd had had a shopping list and got in and said, I will do

:45:15.:45:19.

this but you got to do this and behave in a certain way. If you had

:45:20.:45:24.

said that and help them to it, maybe we wouldn't have had the election.

:45:25.:45:36.

Hopefully it will benefit me moving forward. If I had the opportunity, I

:45:37.:45:43.

would like to finish the job I started. That remains the case. It

:45:44.:45:49.

cannot just be about you. It has to be about what is right for Northern

:45:50.:45:56.

Ireland overall. It is not just about Claire Sugden's benefit. It is

:45:57.:46:03.

not just about me, and one of the hardest things you can do is stand

:46:04.:46:08.

for the Northern Ireland Assembly as an independent. It is not just about

:46:09.:46:12.

me. Apart from my red assessor, I'm the most experienced person for this

:46:13.:46:21.

job. I will be going into this... It is fair to say that previous to the

:46:22.:46:26.

scandal of RHI, Sinn Fein the DUP and myself were working successfully

:46:27.:46:31.

in government in a way that was unprecedented. I would like to find

:46:32.:46:34.

a way to get back to that space. You would like to be Justice Minister

:46:35.:46:40.

again? Yes. If it is offered to you by Sinn Fein and the DUP, would you

:46:41.:46:45.

not say to them, here is my shopping list, I want you to agree to my

:46:46.:46:48.

terms and conditions and a Petition of Concern. I want you to sign up to

:46:49.:46:54.

an agreement on how you behave in government and working together in

:46:55.:46:57.

partnership. If you don't do that, there is the possibility that the

:46:58.:47:00.

wheels will come off in another eight or ten months? I don't think

:47:01.:47:07.

my telling them to behave and grub will make them do that. What we need

:47:08.:47:11.

to do in these negotiations is work on that relationship between Sinn

:47:12.:47:14.

Fein and the DUP. It was not me that collapse the guy Executive. I

:47:15.:47:24.

thought that that relationship was strong, but clearly it was

:47:25.:47:26.

vulnerable. If we're going to move forward, they need to work on that

:47:27.:47:35.

relationship. What do you make... Do you think this could be made to work

:47:36.:47:40.

in three weeks? Do you get a sense that now the election is over,

:47:41.:47:44.

people trying to get out of the corners that people have painted

:47:45.:47:52.

themselves into? I think during an election to an extent, you take an

:47:53.:47:55.

awful lot of what is said with a pinch of salt. By BMI is that the

:47:56.:47:59.

DUP and Sinn Fein have backed themselves into a corner with the

:48:00.:48:01.

red lines they have suggested. But moving forward this is about them as

:48:02.:48:09.

much as it is about me, it is really about the people of Northern

:48:10.:48:12.

Ireland. I think that that is the message. We have had an increased

:48:13.:48:17.

ten more than ever, so we need people to get back to running the

:48:18.:48:23.

Government, because that is what we pay them for. Where you invited to

:48:24.:48:31.

the talks? He has been in touch, and I am eager to take him up on that.

:48:32.:48:38.

If he said EU, I would like you to be part of this process, you would

:48:39.:48:41.

be there? Of course. We need to find a way forward. It is not about party

:48:42.:48:46.

political interest, not about who is going to take what seats. We have to

:48:47.:48:52.

get our government back up and running. This is about governing for

:48:53.:48:55.

the people of Northern Ireland. It will be messy if James Brokenshire

:48:56.:49:03.

and three smaller parties and yourself, it will be difficult with

:49:04.:49:07.

everyone around the table. I like to think I'm a voice of reason. It is

:49:08.:49:13.

not going to be any less messy with the five of them up as well as the

:49:14.:49:18.

smaller parties and myself. We all need to be part of it because if we

:49:19.:49:21.

can move forward, we will be part of this process. We would not want to

:49:22.:49:25.

be in a situation where the Executive has collapsed again. How

:49:26.:49:32.

politics is fragile. We are still in our infancy. But you remain an

:49:33.:49:39.

optimist? We have do, it is not about us. It is about the people

:49:40.:49:43.

that voted us into these mandates last Thursday.

:49:44.:49:50.

And there were, of course, representatives of three smaller

:49:51.:49:53.

After his election the TUV leader, Jim Allister, said the results

:49:54.:49:57.

showed that unionists now need to rethink their views

:49:58.:49:59.

It is a day when we are seeing Sinn Fein advances, and there is no

:50:00.:50:14.

longer a majority control in the Assembly. That sends a message to

:50:15.:50:21.

the leaders of unionism and the people within it,... There will be

:50:22.:50:34.

asking themselves whether we really want to keep Stormont, at all

:50:35.:50:43.

unionists have to do some hard -- heart searching.

:50:44.:50:49.

Clare Bailey of the Green Party was the last MLA to be elected,

:50:50.:50:52.

with the South Belfast declaration made in the early hours

:50:53.:50:54.

Her party leader, Steven Agnew, told our Political Correspondent,

:50:55.:50:57.

Stephen Walker, that the key priority now is agreeing

:50:58.:50:59.

We will go back with a good green team, both here and in south

:51:00.:51:14.

Belfast. What I will be saying to all politicians, we have got to

:51:15.:51:16.

focus on the fact that those people or unprotected notice for their jobs

:51:17.:51:21.

will stop we need to get that security for those people who are

:51:22.:51:24.

waiting on a budget being agreed, and their jobs being confirmed. That

:51:25.:51:30.

should focus minds. And the time for the political power play is done, we

:51:31.:51:33.

need to get the Government back up and running. You are small party.

:51:34.:51:37.

People across Northern Ireland, people have backed the DUP and Sinn

:51:38.:51:40.

Fein to make them the biggest parties, backed them in their

:51:41.:51:44.

thousands. Why do green votes matter? There thousands of people

:51:45.:51:53.

who voted Green. It is important that everybody has a stake in our

:51:54.:51:54.

politics. People Before Profit always knew

:51:55.:51:55.

the reduction in seats would likely mean Eamonn McCann

:51:56.:51:58.

was going to lose his Gerry Carroll retained his

:51:59.:52:00.

seat in west Belfast - he defended that party's stance

:52:01.:52:03.

on Brexit, which became a part We were close to the youth from a

:52:04.:52:12.

left-wing standpoint. Look at what they have done to the people in the

:52:13.:52:16.

South of Ireland, they demanded that they pay water charges, demanded

:52:17.:52:25.

that they have job losses. People were ignored in graceful stop the U

:52:26.:52:29.

reticence austerity and the establishment, and People Before

:52:30.:52:32.

Profit are opposed to it for those reasons. There was a lot of

:52:33.:52:37.

scaremongering and this representation of our organisation,

:52:38.:52:39.

particularly in west Belfast by the established parties. But people

:52:40.:52:44.

voted for Sinn Fein, there was an increase across the North because

:52:45.:52:48.

people thought that by voting for Sinn Fein, that is the best way to

:52:49.:52:51.

stand up against corruption as they see it, stand up against the DUP.

:52:52.:52:56.

But it will be critical happens in the next few weeks. There was going

:52:57.:53:03.

to be a call for heads to roll within RHI as well.

:53:04.:53:05.

Gerry Carroll, looking forward to the next few weeks.

:53:06.:53:07.

Well, it's been described as a watershed election by Gerry Adams.

:53:08.:53:10.

Let's see what my guests of the day make of it all.

:53:11.:53:13.

I'm joined by Patricia McBride, Professor Pete Shirlow,

:53:14.:53:14.

Nicholas Whyte and our Political editor Mark Devenport.

:53:15.:53:17.

You are all welcome to the programme. Thank you for being here.

:53:18.:53:22.

I want to tease out your thoughts in terms of what you heard with regard

:53:23.:53:27.

to the five main parties earlier in the programme. Did you see any signs

:53:28.:53:33.

of John O'Dowd, Simon Hamilton, there are presented of Sinn Fein and

:53:34.:53:39.

the DUP trying to find a way to make things happen in a positive way in

:53:40.:53:44.

the next three weeks? I think the tone has been fairly positive in

:53:45.:53:47.

terms of the sort of mood music from both of them saying they want to

:53:48.:53:52.

come to this, in terms of trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together

:53:53.:53:56.

again. He said there was a recipe for devolution here, and Simon

:53:57.:54:02.

Hamilton was saying that the DUP wants to make things work. What we

:54:03.:54:05.

did not get down to was any obvious sign of compromise on this clear

:54:06.:54:09.

problem or Sinn Fein stipulating that they would not be supporting

:54:10.:54:15.

Arlene Foster as First Minister. Under the current system, they don't

:54:16.:54:18.

have to vote for her as First Minister, but my understanding that

:54:19.:54:25.

Sinn Fein will not nominate their Debuchy First Minister if Arlene

:54:26.:54:31.

Foster is First Minister. We know there is the RHI scandal which Sinn

:54:32.:54:36.

Fein wants to conclude, but that is due to go on for at least six

:54:37.:54:41.

months, maybe longer. I saw Gerry Adams talking again about the fact

:54:42.:54:45.

they had originally look for a preliminary report, but Sinn Fein

:54:46.:54:56.

phone's Minister said that it was not an option. It is hard to square

:54:57.:55:01.

that circle at the moment. We will watch that. Let's talk about Arlene

:55:02.:55:04.

Foster and her leadership and how damaged she may or may not be by the

:55:05.:55:09.

result. Simon Hamilton had a stout defence of her performance, saying

:55:10.:55:16.

that her demise was exaggerated. On the radio last night, if she thought

:55:17.:55:21.

that someone just add aside to let someone else be nominated, the party

:55:22.:55:25.

would back her decision. Does that mean that those conversations are

:55:26.:55:29.

happening, always very danger in the circumstances that people begin to

:55:30.:55:35.

exaggerate? Conversations will happen for real when people get up

:55:36.:55:38.

to Stormont and when I can have their proper internal conversations.

:55:39.:55:42.

I'm sure the phone has been buzzing. There are some within the DUP who

:55:43.:55:45.

feel sore about this, we have seen ten of their team out of a job, and

:55:46.:55:51.

this could have been avoided if she had stood aside, Mike Peter Robinson

:55:52.:56:00.

in the winter period. There is some difficulty getting their heads

:56:01.:56:03.

around this. At the moment, I don't see anyone watching a coup against,

:56:04.:56:10.

but there will be a discussion around the option of a caretaker

:56:11.:56:15.

First Minister. Someone like Simon Hamilton? He will be an obvious

:56:16.:56:20.

person. He was associated with the renewable heat initiative in

:56:21.:56:25.

relation to being an economy job and in relation to pushing through

:56:26.:56:28.

things like the cost controls, but he was not associated with it in the

:56:29.:56:33.

earlier days. He might be seen as someone who will be a compromise

:56:34.:56:40.

candidate. At the same time, Arlene Foster has very much said, I have

:56:41.:56:42.

done nothing wrong, she stood against this, and she might feel

:56:43.:56:47.

that this will be an intolerable loss of face if she gave way to what

:56:48.:56:53.

has been a Sinn Fein demand. OK. Do you think Arlene Foster has been

:56:54.:56:57.

damaged by this result? Similar to when Peter Robinson stood down,

:56:58.:57:05.

there is a fundamental problem for her that this is why they came out.

:57:06.:57:13.

The type of leadership she offered, she emboldened nationalism to some

:57:14.:57:20.

extent, leading us to where we are today. That vote was always there,

:57:21.:57:23.

it just needed something to trigger it. That is a new situation we're

:57:24.:57:29.

in. The problem will always be 50 plus one. This has brought them

:57:30.:57:35.

close to that. Very much she has to consider what Unionist leadership

:57:36.:57:40.

will be because there are two separate things. I think that Sinn

:57:41.:57:49.

Fein will... They will call for a border poll. There will be support

:57:50.:57:56.

for unification. She has been increasingly careful here, because

:57:57.:57:59.

if she does anything like she did before the election which emboldens

:58:00.:58:03.

nationalism, that border poll will be incredibly problematic. This

:58:04.:58:10.

election has shown is that Unionism has to realise the society in which

:58:11.:58:14.

we now live. If you look at the census and you look at people over

:58:15.:58:19.

the age of 18, the question over the last four or five years has been,

:58:20.:58:26.

why is it so flat? It wasn't annoyed, it did not feel as if it

:58:27.:58:35.

was being treated as second-class citizenry. They do feel that now. It

:58:36.:58:43.

was not about the bigger issue, the question has changed and will be a

:58:44.:58:48.

big shift in that over the next couple of years. One of the

:58:49.:58:53.

interesting things is that the strategy for this election when you

:58:54.:58:57.

are saying, Sinn Fein can't be the biggest party, you must back the

:58:58.:59:01.

DUP. A hard strategy might work in that situation. The border poll will

:59:02.:59:08.

not be immediate, but the strategy has to be different. You have two

:59:09.:59:17.

reassure people who might be slightly nationalists, which are

:59:18.:59:31.

diametrically opposed to the strategy we have just seen played

:59:32.:59:41.

out. There is a drive that people are talking about their for a border

:59:42.:59:47.

poll. I would not describe nationalism has emboldened as Alvin

:59:48.:59:51.

iced. There have been a series of events over the past number of

:59:52.:59:56.

years, the RHI is, Nam, red sky, a number of scandals which the DUP

:59:57.:00:01.

have had falling at their feet. There have been issues around

:00:02.:00:05.

equality, Irish language, petitions of concern, it is about nationalism

:00:06.:00:13.

and Republicans of all shades, saying, this is not how we will

:00:14.:00:19.

accept how the governorate is run. John O'Dowd made clear, Harold

:00:20.:00:25.

desired outcome is the restoration of a dissolved Assembly and

:00:26.:00:26.

Executive at Stormont. That is the back mechanism for

:00:27.:00:36.

ensuring the quality issues that we are driving forward delivered. The

:00:37.:00:40.

idea of a border poll is premature. You see Sinn Fein saying in the next

:00:41.:00:47.

of time and this is about developing reassurance of the structure works,

:00:48.:00:50.

people are saved, equality is something that goes across the

:00:51.:00:54.

entire community, it is not simply a Republican issue. But it is seismic

:00:55.:00:59.

that we are going into a new Assembly. Almost 100 years since

:01:00.:01:04.

partition, where there's not a Unionist majority. In political

:01:05.:01:08.

terms. That is frightening. That is challenged Sinn Fein, to not turn

:01:09.:01:14.

fear in the anger and to try and harness a positive attitude. The

:01:15.:01:22.

SDLP likewise should not see the number of seats sustained, should

:01:23.:01:25.

not see that as an endorsement of their strategy of going into

:01:26.:01:29.

opposition. They should be clearly reading the signals from the

:01:30.:01:32.

electorate that they were frustrated at the lack of progress in terms of

:01:33.:01:36.

equality, in terms of addressing issues around scandals. Nicholas,

:01:37.:01:42.

there are lots of things we can extrapolate from the figures, but

:01:43.:01:45.

something I wanted to tease out slightly. We've heard a lot of chat

:01:46.:01:50.

over the last 48 hours about a mixed message and, different messages

:01:51.:01:55.

coming out. How should we read it? Mark has talked about differential

:01:56.:01:59.

turnout. What is it, and how does it play into what has happened in terms

:02:00.:02:05.

of voting holding firmly but not producing the outcome, Sinn Fein

:02:06.:02:12.

vote up, galvanise? The SDLP seemingly doing well in the middle

:02:13.:02:17.

ground, Alliance doing well, Ulster Unionist doing badly. Several things

:02:18.:02:20.

are happening, turnover is up everywhere. In east Belfast, most in

:02:21.:02:30.

some of the border constituencies. And by 18% across-the-board. By ten

:02:31.:02:35.

points, which is an 18% increase. That in itself is remarkable. We had

:02:36.:02:43.

decreasing turnouts, now it is clear there new voters were not Unionist

:02:44.:02:48.

voters. Sinn Fein got a lot of those new boat, the Alliance party got a

:02:49.:02:52.

lot. The Unionists on a whole did not -- vote. Now, the SDLP

:02:53.:03:01.

performance slightly flattered to deceive in terms of the numbers of

:03:02.:03:06.

seats they won. It was historically the lowest vote share ever achieved

:03:07.:03:11.

at a Northern Ireland election. They pulled in a few big names. They did,

:03:12.:03:18.

they pulled them in with all seniors transfers. Which is the fascinating

:03:19.:03:23.

thing. Mike Nesbitt said the ball rolling. He said in his

:03:24.:03:28.

constituency, he would beat given his second preference of the SLP,

:03:29.:03:33.

others felt it was in such a good idea. Pat Catley won seat, was that

:03:34.:03:38.

because a transfer? That was precisely because the Ulster

:03:39.:03:43.

Unionists transfers, when they came, went to him as well as a DUP. He

:03:44.:03:47.

also picked up the Sinn Fein as well. And the SLP returned the

:03:48.:03:58.

favour, Rosemary Barton survived. We're looking at those figures

:03:59.:04:02.

played through as far as those transfers are concerned. It is an

:04:03.:04:05.

interesting picture. Maybe nobody was more surprised than Pat Catley.

:04:06.:04:11.

He tried before and failed. The other side of that is a DUP voters

:04:12.:04:19.

in south Belfast seemingly did not transfer to Michael Henderson, he

:04:20.:04:22.

lost the fifth seat to the Green Party. That right, we can no longer

:04:23.:04:29.

treat the blocks as monolithic, there's more tactful picture out.

:04:30.:04:37.

That is valuable, but those. We are looking at the figures come through.

:04:38.:04:44.

Transfers. When the history of this election is written, the word

:04:45.:04:47.

transfer will be in the first sentence, won't it? Yes, because in

:04:48.:04:52.

relation to Mike Nesbitt's comment, it could be argued that it may have

:04:53.:04:57.

ended up costing him the leadership, it does not just because of the

:04:58.:05:01.

whole technical issue of transfers, bid because he hadn't cleared it

:05:02.:05:05.

with his party beforehand and you had him saying something, his

:05:06.:05:10.

candidate saying others. Some people may have fought, here we go again.

:05:11.:05:15.

It may be some voters who are thinking of giving him the number

:05:16.:05:20.

one, hopped across to Alliance, who returned with the same number of

:05:21.:05:23.

seats, which was a strengthening of their position. What about the new

:05:24.:05:29.

leader of the Unionist party, Robert Swan is not ruling himself out. We

:05:30.:05:36.

are still waiting what Mrs Swan has to saved. Steve Aiken says he is

:05:37.:05:41.

thinking about things, Doug Beattie ruled himself out and hesitated, so

:05:42.:05:49.

I wasn't sure if he was, if he was potentially ruin himself back in.

:05:50.:05:56.

Who is there, who do you think the front you have talked about most of

:05:57.:06:04.

them, Robin Swann must be up them, taken them on a more traditional

:06:05.:06:17.

line. This will be a battle, and one fascinating thing they face, Robin

:06:18.:06:21.

Swann said that Tom Elliott is the chief negotiator, but they have to

:06:22.:06:26.

make a decision about whether they take a seat in government. In the

:06:27.:06:29.

talks that will come up between now and April when they pick a new

:06:30.:06:32.

leader. You wonder who will make that call? Lu it will have to be a

:06:33.:06:40.

collective decision, I would have thought. They will honestly be

:06:41.:06:43.

looking at these results and wondering whether their decision to

:06:44.:06:48.

hop into opposition cost them. I think you have to take a step back

:06:49.:06:52.

and think about Mike Nesbitt. He said he stood for a crossed unity

:06:53.:06:58.

nonsectarian boat. He has left the stage. What we have seen in this

:06:59.:07:05.

election -- vote. Those smaller parties are there because they got

:07:06.:07:10.

the fifth seat. We have somebody who tried to change the dynamic of

:07:11.:07:14.

politics. And has left the political stage. What we have this morning

:07:15.:07:18.

with by political parties was rolling and fighting. The two main

:07:19.:07:21.

parties stood on a platform of keeping each other out. One platform

:07:22.:07:28.

per Sinn Fein was we are mistreated, and that but a lot of fire under

:07:29.:07:32.

their campaign. The DUP was, if you vote this way, if you vote for the

:07:33.:07:38.

SDLP you get Gerry Adams. That was that. We have somebody who tried to

:07:39.:07:46.

change it. Which reflects... He was part of a packed with a DUP two

:07:47.:07:51.

years ago. There is a voice, somebody who is still up and said

:07:52.:07:56.

let's reflect, we engage with each other, Protestants and Catholics,

:07:57.:08:02.

Unionists and non-newness, people work in different ways. We socialise

:08:03.:08:06.

in different ways. There is a mismatch between the politics we

:08:07.:08:10.

have, which is driven by the spire and anger and this constitutional

:08:11.:08:13.

issue, which does not reflect part of the society in which we live. One

:08:14.:08:18.

voice for that has now left the stage. I think that is really

:08:19.:08:21.

regrettable. The middle ground has not achieved much. I disagree, I

:08:22.:08:26.

think it is disrespectful to the electorate to say we want people to

:08:27.:08:31.

come and be engaged, but we don't want you to vote that way, we want

:08:32.:08:35.

you to vote in the middle ground and how we tell you. People voted

:08:36.:08:39.

because they were angry, angry either for all the reasons we've

:08:40.:08:45.

talked about. I think the electorate have shown that the opposition has

:08:46.:08:51.

failed. You can't say we only had three Munsey operated, you should

:08:52.:08:54.

never have gone into it if you didn't have a plan, he didn't have

:08:55.:09:03.

an alternative -- three months. You worked with Mike. On a personal

:09:04.:09:08.

level, are you sorry to see him go? I think he is a loss, because he

:09:09.:09:13.

encouraged debate that perhaps that party had never had. And from that

:09:14.:09:16.

point of view, it gave them an opportunity to look at how they were

:09:17.:09:20.

doing, how they were doing business. I fundamentally believe he would

:09:21.:09:22.

have taken them back if he had remained. They didn't lose because

:09:23.:09:27.

they were in opposition, these parties were damaged at the 1998.

:09:28.:09:35.

They lost half of their boats, each lost half of their boats ten, 12

:09:36.:09:44.

years ago. -- votes. What has damaged the is the dysfunctional

:09:45.:09:46.

relationship between the two main parties in the Assembly, and that

:09:47.:09:51.

dysfunctional Blishen ship work for them in terms of maximising their

:09:52.:09:58.

boats. This is what we have observed -- relationship. What has damaged

:09:59.:10:06.

the Ulster Unionists and the SLP in the first place was a failure to

:10:07.:10:11.

deliver. Which is possibly based on their ablation ship. Interesting

:10:12.:10:15.

stepping back, if the Ulster Unionist don't go to executive and

:10:16.:10:29.

the S Gill P do, -- SDLP, you could be looking at a nationalist

:10:30.:10:39.

majority. Which is intriguing? I would suspect the STL P and alter

:10:40.:10:43.

Unionists one man mark each other, they will either jumping or jump our

:10:44.:10:49.

-- SDLP. We often talk about Sinn Fein's red line. Colonies to word

:10:50.:10:55.

was on record saying he wouldn't join and Arlene Foster led

:10:56.:11:00.

government. But remains a problem. If they both jump out, we get back

:11:01.:11:13.

into that problem. It is four DUP, three Sinn Fein. Alliance could

:11:14.:11:21.

theoretically be offered it. We are in very interesting circumstances.

:11:22.:11:26.

The Unionist lead was 1100 votes. The next leaders will have to answer

:11:27.:11:31.

the question, would you accept the position of Deputy First Minister?

:11:32.:11:34.

That is a fascinating question to leave the programme on. Thank you

:11:35.:11:36.

very much. So that was the Assembly Election

:11:37.:11:38.

2017 - a snap election that saw crocodiles to the fore,

:11:39.:11:41.

and which chewed up and spat I'll be back with lots more

:11:42.:11:43.

on The View on Thursday Until then, we'll leave

:11:44.:11:47.

you with some of the stand-out moments of a memorable

:11:48.:11:51.

couple of days. Something is happening out there, we

:11:52.:11:59.

don't know what it is yet, but we're here to find out. No one could have

:12:00.:12:08.

predicted this ten months ago. Some politicians are going to be very

:12:09.:12:09.

disappointed. It proves a total relevance of

:12:10.:12:44.

social media for a start. You must be feeling better you've got that

:12:45.:12:47.

off your chest. I've been waiting all day.

:12:48.:13:03.

There's also a huge vote of thanks to Martin. Too tired to laugh and to

:13:04.:13:16.

all to cry. So I shall not continue in this position. People are

:13:17.:13:21.

comparing this to blockbusters, how dare they? I resented, my mother

:13:22.:13:27.

resented, my family resented, stop doing it. Can I have a DUP, please,

:13:28.:13:34.

Bob? Is that a crocodile or an alligator? Are you trying to kill

:13:35.:13:42.

me? We have a huge responsibility to ensure we and run from Dublin, from

:13:43.:13:44.

London. CHEERING

:13:45.:13:51.

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