26 Jan 2010

Emergency talks on Northern Ireland

2:05 pm on 26 January 2010

British and Irish prime ministers Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen travelled to Northern Ireland on Monday to try to resolve a deepening political crisis there.

The two most important parties in Northern Ireland - Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - are holding emergency talks on the transfer of policing and judicial powers from London.

The BBC reports the talks at Hillsborough Castle are set to continue throughout the night.

Rather than holding direct talks, the parties are holding separate meetings with the two governments.

Outside the talks, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said Sinn Fein had created a "contrived crisis".

Mr Brown has postponed Tuesday's cabinet meeting until later in the week. More talks are expected to be held in the morning.