THERESA May has been left humiliated by her own DUP partners today as a deal to form a Government in Northern Ireland broke down just 48 hours after she flew to Belfast.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said this afternoon that there was "no prospect" of forming an administration with Sinn Fein – despite months of crunch talks.
Northern Ireland has been without a Government for more than a year now, despite politician's best efforts to reach a deal.
Ms Foster said today that "significant gaps" remained between the two parties "especially on the issue of the Irish language".
She said her party would not accept an Irish Language Act – and that an "impasse" has been reached.
"I outlined my party’s willingness to reach an accommodation on language and cultural issues," she said in a statement.
"At the moment, we do not have a fair and balanced package.
"Any agreement to restore the Executive must be on a sensible basis. We cannot and will not be held to ransom by those who have refused to form an Executive for over thirteen months."
And she added: "In our view, there is no current prospect of these discussions leading to an Executive being formed."
Several rounds of talks have failed to produce an agreement.
The news comes just days after Mrs May herself flew to Northern Ireland and urged the parties to give one last go to get an agreement.
Yesterday the DUP leader blasted her visit as a "distraction" to getting a deal.
The fact she came over raised hopes that an agreement was definitely on the cards.
Ms Foster said: "In fact, the visit yesterday became a bit of a distraction because we had still work to do and we'll continue to do that work today and in the coming days."
The high-level meetings also included the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his deputy Simon Coveney.
The Prime Minister and both parties said just hours ago that good progress had been made and they were hopeful of a deal.
She also toured the Bombardier aerospace plant in East Belfast on her trip.
The ten DUP MPs are in a deal to prop up Mrs May's minority Government, after she lost her majority last May.
Northern Ireland, however, has had to be run by civil servants after the then-Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness pulled out of the power-sharing agreement last January, causing the government to collapse.
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