Talks between the DUP and Sinn Féin, held in a bid to resolve the row that has left Northern Ireland without a power-sharing government since January, were adjourned shortly after 9.30pm last night.

It is understood the talks will resume on Monday.

Yesterday was the most intense set of discussions in several weeks.

On Thursday, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams told a meeting in Armagh that the impasse can only be solved by the two parties working together.

It is ten months since Sinn Féin pulled out of partnership government with the DUP, following disputes over a renewable heating scheme and a stand-alone Irish language act.

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This triggered an Assembly election in March, which saw Sinn Féin and the DUP claiming the lion's share of seats at Stormont.

Despite a series of deadlines passing, both sides have been unable to find a formula to restore the administration since the election.

Yesterday, Mr Adams joined Sinn Féin’s leader in the north, Michelle O'Neill, and other party members for discussions with the DUP, led by Arlene Foster.

Ms Foster was accompanied by party colleagues Simon Hamilton and Edwin Poots.

The Secretary of State James Brokenshire had remained on at Stormont earlier, along with Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Mr Brokenshire has said the British government will move to introduce a budget for Northern Ireland if the stalemate is not resolved by Monday 6 November.