McGuinness to resign as Deputy First Minister this evening
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness is to resign this evening as Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister.
He'll stand down at 5 o'clock this evening, unless the first minister Arlene Foster agrees to stand aside for a temporary inquiry into the "cash for ash" scandal - a demand that shows no sign of being honoured.
Last week Sinn Fein presented Foster with a set of proposals for how an independent inquiry into the botched Renewable Heat Initiative could get underway.
On Friday she responded by saying she could accept those proposals as the basis for further engagement - but refused to concede on the biggest demand, that she step aside while it got underway.
Sinn Féin insists her interim departure is the only way it can ensure a fair and thorough inquiry - but Foster says standing aside would be a concession of wrongdoing and prejudge the inquiry's findings.
McGuinness has now announced he will resign as of 5 o'clock this evening if Foster does not agree to stand down for an inquiry before then.
But with the DUP continuing to dig its heels, the signs are that Northern Ireland is heading for a snap election, possibly before the UK begins the process of invoking Article 50 and leaving the European Union.