Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns has said there is no reason why the Democratic Unionist Party should not return to the Northern Ireland Executive

He said “Not having a functioning executive is an impediment for us getting the money that Northern Ireland has been allocated as a result of the decisions taken by Rishi Sunak to help families with the cost of living challenges in England”

DUP MP Sammy Wilson said Mr Burns’ claim that the absence of an assembly was hindering the response to the cost of living crisis was “simply untrue”.

“Last week the announcement was made that the £400 to help people with their energy bills will be made and be made directly through the energy companies,” he said.