Chris Heaton-Harris says Northern Ireland will head to the polls if no Executive by October 28

Tracey began by asking the secretary of state if he can't change the legislation - or won't.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has insisted he will be calling an election if an Executive isn't formed by 28 October.

In an interview with UTV's Political Editor Tracey Magee, the secretary of state said it was "not the ideal solution," but is a legislative requirement.

He stressed democracy was never a "waste of money".

He said: "Without a shadow of a doubt, the ideal solution is the Executive reforming and these things being sorted out though debate and discussion.

"But the legislation is very straightforward - I've made sure that everybody in UK politics understands that is the course of action that's being taken over here and understands the legislation and the reason why.

"If the Executive doesn't reform, I will be calling an election at one minute past midnight on 28 October and we will have an election."

Northern Ireland last went to the polls on 5 May.

After that election there was a timeframe of six months for an Executive to be formed, however the DUP decided not go back into the power-sharing intuitions as part of its protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The post-Brexit trade deal has created barriers on the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has vowed to secure changes to the Protocol, either through a negotiated compromise with the EU or domestic legislation to empower ministers to scrap the arrangements without the approval of Brussels.

"I think they (the DUP) can see there are talks going on between the UK Government and the European Commission and the talks are taking place in good faith and are going in the right direction," continued Chris Heaton-Harris.

"I'm a glass half full man, I tend to believe good things will come from there.

"But their position has been pretty much the same all the way through and currently I believe they don't think they've seen enough of what's going on."

The secretary of state was asked how he would respond to people saying an election would be a huge waste of money and won't achieve anything.

"Democracy is never a waste of time and money," he said.

"It was democracy that helped deliver the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement which has delivered 25 years of peace and prosperity and as much as the frustrations with the politics, that's much better than what went before."

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