Sinn Féin has warned that DUP leader Edwin Poots must commit to begin delivering on a promise to introduce an Irish language act within weeks if it's to back his choice as Northern Ireland's next First Minister.

The Stormont Assembly will be dissolved if it refuses to endorse his choice.

Arlene Foster has said she’ll step down as First Minister as soon as Edwin Poots names his choice to replace her.

Paul Givan, a DUP member of the Stormont Assembly who shares a constituency office with Mr Poots in Lisburn in County Antrim, is widely expected to be nominated to take on the role.

He accompanied his party leader to a meeting with the Taoiseach in Government Buildings last night.

Under the rules of the power sharing administration, for him to become First Minister, Sinn Féin must agree to nominate a deputy first minister, who it says will once again be Michelle O’Neill.

But Sinn Féin wants something in return - a firm commitment to implement the New Decade, New Approach deal reached last year which led to the restoration of power sharing after three years.

It includes a commitment to Irish language legislation.

Edwin Poots has insisted that he remains committed to the deal, which he helped negotiate. He repeated that commitment after last night’s meeting with Micheál Martin.

Michelle O’Neill today said words aren’t enough and insisted there must be action before the Stormont Assembly breaks for its summer holiday early next month.

She said the party’s view had been made clear during two meetings with the new DUP leader.

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"Whilst Edwin Poots' words are fine, I now want to see action, I want to see delivery, as do the public at large," she said.

"We now have a small window of opportunity in which to deliver upon the Irish Language Act and indeed other New Decade, New Approach commitments.

"Clearly in terms of the legislative window, we only have a short number of weeks left before the start of the summer recess in order to get this through the Executive and the Assembly, so clearly there is a natural timeline there.

"The time for bluster and bluff is over, I mean, these commitments were made by all political parties, including the DUP. It's time to deliver them. Whilst I think Edwin Poots’ words are fine I now expect to see action, I expect to see them delivered upon, and I will hold his feet to the fire on those things."

Sinn Féin’s concerns that the commitment might not be honoured are compounded by a decision Paul Givan made while communities minister.

Shortly before Christmas in 2016, he angered Irish language activists when he withdrew a £50,000 bursary for children to go to the Gaeltacht in County Donegal.

The Stormont Assembly is due to break for the summer recess on 10 July.