Theresa May's 'confidence and supply deal' with the Democratic Unionist Party has become a major obstacle in ongoing negotiations to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein has said.
Talks between the two largest parties in NI have made little progress, despite last Thursday's legal deadline to come to an agreement.

Secretary of state James Brokenshire is due to announce the UK government's next steps in relation to the ongoing dispute in front of MPs on Monday.

Brokenshire may introduce a new deadline for talks, call another Assembly election or possibly even return the region to direct rule from Downing Street.

Sinn Fein spokesperson Conor Murphy told media on Monday that the DUP have not addressed the rights issues which have been a central block in the discussions, while the alliance with the Conservatives in Westminster has made matters worse.

“They oppose rights for Irish Language speakers , they oppose rights for ethnic minorities and women. They oppose rights of lesbian and gay citizens to equal marriage.

“In doing all of this, they are emboldened by their alliance with the British government, which has taken that in its own interests and against the interests of what needs to happen in this part of Ireland.”

Devolved government in the North broke down in January following the resignation of Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister and subsequent election.

The DUP has since agreed a deal to prop up May's government with its 10 MPs, following the PM's inability to gain a majority in the UK snap election on 8 June.