Martin McGuinness has resigned from the Northern Ireland government, causing a new election to take place in the North.
McGuinness, the Deputy First Minister, met with the North’s First Minister Arlene Foster in the early hours of Monday morning, but the two could not reach agreement on Foster standing aside.
The dispute goes back to when Foster was Minster for Enterprise in the North and created a scheme to discontinue the use of fossil fuels, replacing them with wood burning fuels. However, due to huge cost overruns, the program turned into a fiasco and may end up costing the Northern Ireland taxpayer $450 million.
Ten years of valient service in Office Of First&DeputyFirst Minister Martin McGuinness signs resignation letter. GRMA chara 4 all Ur work. pic.twitter.com/1i4ezDTF5h— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) January 9, 2017
Sinn Fein has demanded an inquiry into the scheme after allegations of corruption were made but Foster refused to step aside as part of that inquiry until it was concluded.
“The first minister has refused to stand aside without prejudice, pending a preliminary report from an investigation. That position is not credible or tenable,” McGuinness said.
“It is with deep regret and reluctance that I am tendering my resignation as deputy first minster, with effect from 5 p.m. on Monday January 17.”
"The Democratic Unionist Party’s handling of this issue has been completely out of step with the public mood, which is rightly outraged at the squandering of public funds and the allegations of misconduct and corruption."
Once again, the North is plunged into uncertainty with the Sinn Fein resignation, and it remains to be seen how quickly a new date for an election is called.