Boris Johnson hails 'momentous day' as Northern Ireland Executive meets for first time since 2017
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Boris Johnson hails 'momentous day' as Northern Ireland Executive meets for first time since 2017

BORIS JOHNSON has hailed the return of the Northern Ireland Executive after three years of political deadlock as a “momentous day”.

The UK Prime Minister singled out the DUP, Sinn Féin and Northern Ireland's three other main political parties for praise over the “great leadership” shown in backing the agreement to restore Stormont’s political institutions.

It comes three years after the previous coalition collapsed in the wake of a mishandled renewable energy scheme.

All five main parties in Northern Ireland met for the first time since 2017 this past Saturday, January 11 as part of the new power-sharing executive.

The DUP’s Arlene Foster was appointed First Minister during the meeting with Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill handed the role of deputy.

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Mr Johnson said: “As we begin a new decade, we can now look forward to a brighter future for all in Northern Ireland with an Executive that can transform public services and improve people’s lives.

“The parties of Northern Ireland have shown great leadership in coming together to accept this fair and balanced deal in the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland.

“After three years without devolved Government, an Executive can now get on with the job of delivering much needed reforms to the health service, education and justice.

“We could not have got this far without the Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith who has dedicated himself to this process and has worked closely with the Northern Ireland parties and Irish Government to make this happen.”