Assembly elections on 26 November

Downing Street has confirmed this morning that fresh Assembly elections will take place on 26 November.

The announcement came as a flurry of activity gets underway to shore up the peace process.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is to speak at 10.30am on Tuesday about the latest concessions by republicans and on the future of the peace process.

It's believed his statement will be followed by an announcement from the Decommissioning Body which may outline full details of a new act to put arms beyond use by the IRA.

Completing the jigsaw will be statements from Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and the two governments - Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern are expected in Hillsborough later today.

This morning, Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey said the scene was now set for further political progress. He said negotiations over recent weeks had been intense. Alex Attwood of the SDLP welcomed the election move but said the public would be seeking republican endorsement of the PSNI.

Journalist:: Aidan Crean

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