Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister Martin McGuiness resigns over renewable heat incentive scheme

Martin McGuinness has stepped down as Northern Ireland's deputy first minister in protest against the handling of the renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme that could cost taxpayers £490m, accoridng to media reports. 

The Sinn Féin MLA's resignation took effect from 5pm GMT Monday, according to the BBC.

He cited the Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) conduct over the RHI scheme scandal as the main reason, the media organisation said.

McGuinness  decision to quit is likely to lead to a snap assembly election. He said First Minister Arlene Foster has a "clear conflict of interest" in the RHI scandal and her position is "not credible or tenable".

"Today is the right time to call a halt to the DUP's arrogance," he added.

McGuinness said people should be allowed "to make their own judgement on these issues democratically at the ballot box".

Prime Minister Theresa May has been "updated" on McGuinness' resignation, Downing Street has said.

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