Voluntary coalition or exclusion?

SDLP leader Mark Durkan claims that Downing Street pressurised his party “very strongly in the direction of voluntary coalition or exclusion, call it what you will” in January.

Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said Mr Durkan’s comments were designed to make his party relevant ahead of forthcoming Westminster and local government elections.The government’s position is that it has to explore all the options being put forward by the various parties,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

“That does not mean it has decided on a particular one option.”