DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she would not be supporting the introduction of an Irish Language Act, as part of a series of measures to facilitate the restoration of power-sharing after the March Assembly elections.

Speaking at the launch of her party's election campaign in Lurgan, Mrs Foster said "if we have an Irish language act, maybe we should have a Polish language act as well because there are more people in Northern Ireland who speak Polish, compared to Irish."

Referring to Sinn Féin demands, she said: "If you feed a crocodile, it will keep coming back for more."

In response to Mrs Foster's comments, Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams joked: "See you later, alligator".

Mr Adams was attending Sinn Féin's candidate announcement event in Belfast alongside the party's new Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill.

Ms O'Neill declined to be drawn on Mrs Foster's comments.

"We are not interested in negativity," she said.

"We are fighting this campaign. We have launched our candidates here this morning on the basis of three key principles - respect, equality for all, and integrity in the political institutions.

"That's our job of work, that's what we are concerned with."

Speaking earlier, Mrs Foster said Mr Adams, not Michelle O'Neill, is "front and centre" of the Sinn Féin campaign.

She said: "So concerned were Sinn Féin about their faltering cause that Gerry Adams replaced Sinn Féin's leader with one of his own. Be very clear Michelle O'Neill was selected by Gerry Adams and she will be instructed by Gerry Adams.

"Let's be very clear, at this election Gerry Adams is no longer in the shadows. He is front and centre of Sinn Féin's campaign.

"Come election day, Sinn Fein could have enough seats to become the biggest party. Just imagine what Gerry Adams' radical agenda would mean for our way of life," said Mrs Foster.

She said she understands the anger people feel over the botched renewable heating scheme.

"No one feels worse about what happened than I do. I know for some doubts remain about the scheme and my role in it. I know for my part I have done nothing wrong. I know any investigation will clear my name.

"We all know this election is not about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The RHI merely gives Sinn Féin the cover to bring down Stormont and force an election when they thought the DUP had been weakened.

"Make no mistake, Gerry Adams is back and centre stage. (Michelle O'Neill) was handpicked by Gerry Adams. She will be there to seek to implement Adams' radical plan ... We are in for the fight our political lives."

SDLP leader calls for 'partnership' to fix Stormont 'corruption and chaos'

Meanwhile SDLP leader Colum Eastwood urged voters to reject the DUP/Sinn Féin coalition that has governed for the last decade and instead give his party and the Ulster Unionists another chance to lead.

The two parties that helped forge the 1998 Good Friday Agreement have developed an ever closer relationship since turning down junior roles in the last executive to take their places in Stormont's first official opposition.

As he launched his party's election campaign, he said devolution in Northern Ireland will only work if unionists and nationalists commit to a "real partnership" at Stormont.

Mr Eastwood, who addressed the UUP conference last year, said he stood by his commitment to work with unionists for the better good.

His comments came after UUP leader Mr Nesbitt, in a weekend interview, stressed the need for a genuine cross-community partnership approach at the heart of the devolved government.

"This election is a chance to fix what has gone before," Mr Eastwood told party faithful at the launch event.

The Foyle candidate said the electorate faced a "clear choice" on 2 March.

"A choice between more of the same or the choice of partnership and progress," he said.