There will be no Assembly election in December, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State has confirmed.
It had been widely expected that Chris Heaton-Harris MP would call an election in the lead up to Christmas as the DUP continue to boycott the Executive due to unionist concerns around the NI Protocol.
Mr Heaton-Harris has not yet named a date for any future election.
In his statement, Mr Heaton-Harris said: “At midnight on October 28, I came under a duty to call an Assembly election. Since then, my engagement with the political parties has continued.
“I have had valuable conversations with people across Northern Ireland, including business and community representatives. I have listened to their sincere concerns about the impact and cost of an election at this time.
“I can now confirm that no Assembly election will take place in December, or ahead of the festive season. Current legislation requires me to name a date for an election to take place within 12 weeks of October 28 and next week, I will make a statement in Parliament to lay out my next steps.
“My objective, what the people of Northern Ireland deserve, is the restoration of a strong devolved government. My duty is to create the right environment for the parties in Northern Ireland to work together to restore the devolved institutions and deliver on crucial issues impacting Northern Ireland’s people.
“I do not take this duty lightly, nor do I overlook the very real concerns people have around their cost of living.”