Brown in talks to defuse Irish crisis

Gordon Brown is expected to meet Sinn Fein representatives today in an effort to prevent a breakdown in Northern Ireland’s government.

Sinn Fein is considering derailing Peter Robinson’s nomination as first minister – an acquisition considered all but formalised when Ian Paisley resigned at the end of last week.

But the party may well refrain from nominating their own Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister, triggering an assembly election.

Sinn Fein is angry at persistent attempts by the Democratic Unionist Party to block devolution of policing and justice.