Sinn Fein formally decline to nominate Deputy First Minister

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Sinn Fein has formally declined to nominate a deputy first minister for Northern Ireland, following Martin McGuinness' resignation.

He stepped down last week, over a botched renewable energy scheme.

It means the powersharing executive at Stormont will officially collapse at 5pm - triggering a snap election.

The outgoing First Minister, Arlene Foster, says Sinn Fein has an ulterior motive..........

The Sinn Féin President and other senior party figures have ruled out quitting the Dáil and contesting the Stormont elections.

Gerry Adams, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty say they are happy representing constituents in the Dáil.

A snap election to Stormont will be called by this evening, with polling likely in early March.

Mr Adams says outgoing deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has made his intentions known to him on whether he'll contest the election and an announcement will be made "soon".

But he ruled out any move back North himself: