Negotiations begin today on the make up of NI’s new government


Negotiations on the shape of Northern Ireland's new power-sharing government are expected to start later.

Politicians will hammer out priorities for the next five years and establish which parties will take on ministerial portfolios.

Parties will also have to decide whether or not to form an official opposition.

In Foyle, Deputy First Minster Martin Mc Guinness was elected after transferring from Mid-Ulster, but he didnm't manage two bring two more Sinn Fein colleagues with him. Raymond Mc Cartney was returned, but o utgoing Stormont Health Committee Chair Maeve Mc Laughlin lost her seat.

The SDLP lost a seat, party leader Colm Eastwood and outgoing Environment Minister Mark H Durkan were returned, but Gerard Diver, who replaced Pat Ramsay in December lost his seat.

Also elected were the DUP's Gary Middleton and People Before Profit's Eamon Mc Cann, who finally tasted electoral success after contesting numerous polls over the years.

In West Tyrone, all six outgoing MLAs were returned, with Daniel McCrossan of the SDLP, who replaced Joe Byrne in the Assembly at the beginning of the year, first to be deemed elected.

He was followed by the DUP's Thomas Buchanan, Ross Hussey of the UUP, aqnd the Sinn Fein trio of Barry McElduff, Declan McAleer and Michaela Boyle.