The Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland has called on the British and Irish governments to “redouble efforts” to help restore the Northern Ireland Executive.

The leading business body’s Chairman made the call as he addressed business leaders in Derry.

Speaking to an audience of around 100 at the IoD’s Chairman’s Roadshow, Gordon Milligan, said recent violent scenes illustrated the need for a return of a fully functioning Northern Ireland Assembly.

He said:

“We have been without an Executive for the last 19 months in Northern Ireland and worryingly we have seen what happens when a political vacuum emerges as witnessed in Derry and east Belfast recently.

“This small minority are determined to bring us back to the old days but being here today and seeing the hustle and bustle of the Foyle Maritime Festival and Clipper race reflects the true spirit of this city.”

It is estimated that key infrastructure projects worth around £1billion in investments are currently being held up due to the absence of the Executive.

Gordon added:

“As citizens we deserve better, our children deserve more. That’s why today we are calling on British and Irish governments and all the political parties to leverage the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference this week to redouble their efforts and work together to achieve the earliest operation of the devolved executive.”

Held at Magee Campus, the event which also heard from the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service David Sterling was the first in a series of Chairman’s Roadshows sponsored by KPMG, to take place at venues across Northern Ireland.