Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland,  gives her reaction to yesterday’s DUP walkout. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

There was great confusion but not much relief, as Bob Dylan more or less said, at Stormont yesterday. But behind the chaos, one of two things w(...)

Theresa  Villiers said there was still  time to try to break  political deadlock in Stormont while indicating that ultimately she may take over control of welfare.   File photograph: Hannah McKay/EPA

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has refused to rule out the British government taking over responsibility for welfare from the Northern Executive (...)

 Minister for Finance Arlene Foster  warned that rejection of the welfare proposals would create an unsustainable £604 million (€854 million) deficit in the Stormont budget. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The Northern Assembly last night blocked the final passage of the welfare Bill, triggering a potential crisis that could bring down the Stormont in(...)

Peter Robinson underwent a procedure for a heart condition on Monday. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The DUP pressed ahead with the final stage of the welfare reform bill today despite concerns that it will precipitate a crisis that would jeopardise t(...)

 Theresa Villiers, who met senior representatives from the DUP, Sinn Féin, the SDLP, the Ulster Unionist Party and Alliance at Stormont today. Photograph: Hannah McKay

Talks between the Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers and the North’s five main parties concluded today without agreement on how to break the deadlo(...)

‘This is the first time trades unions have opposed a Stormont deal. On every previous occasion, the ICTU and individual unions have hailed the outcome as a welcome contribution to the consolidation of peace’. Photograph: Getty Images

One of the factors behind Sinn Féin’s decision on Monday to pull out of the Stormont House Agreement was a series of trade union demonstrations tomorr(...)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan held telephone talks to try to solve the crisis. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan held separate telephone talks last night with Martin McGuinness, Theresa Villiers and Dr Alasdair McDonn(...)

Martin McGuinness said Sinn Féin would not be part of any agenda that punished the most vulnerable. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Stormont was thrust back into potential crisis on Monday after deputy first minister Martin McGuinness said Sinn Féin will now oppose the passage of (...)

First Minister Peter Robinson caused surprise by a reshuffle of DUP Ministers in the Northern Executive. File Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

First Minister Peter Robinson caused surprise this evening by a reshuffle of DUP Ministers in the Northern Executive. The Minister of Health Ed(...)

Bishop Donal McKeown: claimed Mr Robinson had suggested that “certain vested interests, by implication the Catholic Church, were the ones who were blocking movements towards that [integrated education]”. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

First Minister Peter Robinson has weighed into a developing quarrel over integrated education between the auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor(...)