Northern Ireland

Leo Varadkar and Rishi Sunak play down talk of a rift as questions swirl over joint no-show

Speculation over a rift in the relationship between Varadkar and Sunak has increased since the Irish government launched an interstate legal challenge against the UK government’s contentious legislation to address the legacy of the Northern Ireland Troubles

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister, at Parliament Buildings in Belfast, following the restoration of the powersharing executive. Picture: Government of Ireland/PA Wire

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Rishi Sunak, the UK prime minister, have sought to dismiss suggestions that relations between the two governments are strained, after they did not appear together in public to mark the return of powersharing to Northern Ireland.

While the two leaders did meet privately, they held separate engagements with Stormont’s political leaders.

Varadkar said the day was about progress in Northern Ireland, rather than the two premiers, while Sunak said Ireland would ...