Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Saturday, 11 October 2008 10:02 UK

Stand-off could 'go on to 2009'

Sir Reg Empey
Sir Reg said politicians' credibility is at stake

The Stormont Executive might not meet before the end of this year, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has said.

Another meeting of the executive is scheduled for Thursday, but there is still no sign of an end to the stand-off between the DUP and Sinn Féin.

Interviewed for Inside Politics, Sir Reg said the public was regarding local politicians with increasing contempt.

"I understand talks will be taking place between the DUP and SF to see if they can find a way forward," he said.

"I hope they succeed but I am not particularly optimistic and I fear if it does not succeed, there may not be an executive for the rest of this year."

The executive has not met since June.

The failure of Sinn Féin and the DUP to agree on the transferring of policing and justice powers from Westminster has been a key factor in the deadlock.

DUP face problem with partnership
27 Sep 08 |  Northern Ireland
Leaders hope executive will meet
26 Sep 08 |  Northern Ireland

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific