Boris Johnson meets NI political parties amidst deadlock at Stormont over Protocol

Key politicians from the five main political parties have spoken to the media after meeting with Boris Johnson amidst reports that the UK Government will take unilateral action to override the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has told reporters that she had a "tough meeting" with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"It's very clear to us that despite all of the rhetoric from the British Government about re-establishing the Executive here in the north, that in fact their priority is placating the DUP," she said.

  • WATCH: Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald speaks to the media after meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

She said that she told Mr Johnson that their absolute priority is to get back into devolved government but said that they received no straight answer from the Prime Minister.

"I'm sorry to report that we've had no straight answers really from the British Prime Minister except a confirmation of what we already knew, which is that in fact this impasse is entirely co ordinated between themselves and the DUP, and if the DUP are acting shamefully in holding back government, well then the British Government is behaving even more shamefully," she said.

The party president also told the media outside Hillsborough Castle that she expects to see developments on abortion services and a language and culture package within a week.

Sinn Féin is the first party to meet with Boris Johnson on his trip to Northern Ireland.

After meeting with Sinn Féin representatives, the Prime Minister met with the DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, along with Gavin Robinson and Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.

Following the DUP's meeting, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson spoke to the media and reiterated his call to see "decisive action" over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

WATCH: Sir Jeffrey Donaldson speaking to the media:

Sir Jeffrey told the press he will wait to see any proposals put forward by the government before he makes any decision on going back into government.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said that he "set out in very clear terms" to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson what is needed from the British Government in relation to the protocol.

"We cannot go on like this," the DUP leader said after meeting Mr Johnson.

"Clearly, we want a fully functioning executive and we want that to happen as soon as possible, and therefore, we're looking now to the Government.

"That's what we're looking for from our Government, from our Prime Minister, it's decisive action on the protocol.

"We've heard the words, now we need to see the action," he added.

Mr Johnson has also meet with Stephen Farry, the Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party.

Speaking afterwards, he said that "trust" is the key issue in the ongoing negotiations.

The Prime Minister also met with UUP Leader Doug Beattie, and his colleagues Andy Allen and Robbie Butler.

Mr Beattie described his meeting with the PM "straightforward."

He said that if the UK government takes steps to bypass the NI Protocol then the parties should back into government in Stormont.

Meanwhile, Colum Eastwood described the SDLP's meeting with Boris Johnson as "robust."

He spoke to the media alongside his party colleagues Claire Hanna and Matthew O'Toole.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting the major Stormont parties amid a warning from Ireland against unilateral action to override the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Johnson was booed and jeered by around 200 people who gathered at the gates of Hillsborough Castle as his cavalcade drove in.

Protesters, including campaigners for the Irish language, victims campaigners and anti-Brexit activists, were among the crowds who held aloft banners.<