Rishi Sunak to be first PM in 15 years to attend British-Irish Council

Rishi Sunak to be first PM in 15 years to attend British-Irish Council

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will today become the first prime minister in fifteen years to attend a British-Irish Council meeting.

The last prime minister to attend such a council was Gordon Brown in 2007.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will meet with Sunak at the British-Irish Council Summit in Blackpool today.

The meeting comes as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris announced yesterday that the deadline for the calling of Stormont elections has been extended by six weeks, with the possibility of a further six week extension.

He also announced a pay cut of about a third for Assembly members.

The meeting today is expected to last about 30 minutes.

The council meeting, which is taking place over the next two days, will be chaired by the UK Minister for Intergovernmental Relations Michael Gove MP.

The theme of the meeting is sustainable growth and regeneration.

Membership of the British-Irish Council comprises representatives of the Irish and UK governments, Northern Ireland Executive, Scotland, Wales, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and Jersey.

The Council was created under the Good Friday Agreement with an objective to promote positive, practical relationships among all members.

Over the two days, the Taoiseach will also attend business and enterprise meetings as well as a community event to honour the Irish diaspora in the North of England.

Prior to the summit, the Taoiseach will also travel to Manchester and meet with the Mayor of Liverpool city Region Steve Rotheram and Manchester Greater Authority Mayor Andy Burnham.