Above, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech to the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, during the State Opening of Parliament, in London on Thursday. REUTERS/Alastair Grant/Pool

A strange indifference attends the threatened collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive. The impasse on welfare reform reached in Stormont on Tuesday(...)

Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales (left) during the state opening of parliament, in the House of Lords, London. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron has pulled back from plans to quickly repeal the Human Rights Act and to limit the jurisdiction in the Unite(...)

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 (...)

 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip leave after the opening of the British parliament at the Palace of Westminster in central London on Wednesday. Photograph:  Reuters

Queen Elizabeth set in motion British prime minister David Cameron’s plans for a European Union membership referendum on Wednesday as he faced pressu(...)

 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(...)

  Minister for Finance Arlene Foster,  the DUP’s Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson: Sinn Feín is leading the charge against the welfare change with the SDLP.  Photograph: Kelvin Boyes

There was considerable public and indeed political sympathy with the comment of Alliance Assembly member Stewart Dickson yesterday when he referred(...)

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(...)

British prime minister David Cameron president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker  at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga last week. They meet for formal discussions today. Photograph: Valda Kalnina/EPA

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker travels to the UK today for talks with David Cameron in the first bilateral meeting between the Br(...)

British prime minster David Cameron: he will come face to face with EU leaders for the first time since his party’s decisive victory in the British general election two weeks ago. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

British prime minister David Cameron is expected to make his opening salvo in his bid to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union w(...)

 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(...)