Chamber of Commerce warns of 'damage' to north of failure to reboot Stormont
A leading business organisation has warned any failure to elect a Stormont speaker will lead to reputational damage in Northern Ireland.
As the assembly met for the first time since last week's election, the DUP confirmed they will not support the election of a new speaker meaning the assembly can not sit
Paul Murnaghan, the president of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: "Failure to elect a Speaker to the Assembly at the earliest opportunity deals yet another blow to business and investor confidence in Northern Ireland.
"At a time when our elected representatives should be getting straight to work to tackle a myriad of very significant challenges, we remain in limbo.
"The uncomfortable truth is, while this continues, the reputational damage to Northern Ireland as a place to invest and work grows daily.
"For local businesses, little can be done to mitigate against the litany of challenges including soaring costs and skills shortages without a stable, functioning executive and legislature.
"We call on all political representatives to stop allowing division to hold back progress and form a stable, fully functioning Assembly and executive without delay."