UK says there is still time to avoid N. Ireland elections

Rishi Sunak at Downing Street

LONDON (Reuters) -Fresh elections to resolve a political impasse in Northern Ireland can still be avoided, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman said on Thursday, urging political parties to restore the province's devolved government.

"There is still time for the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party)and executives to get back to Stormont," the spokesman said.

"So we urge them to do so because the people of Northern Ireland deserve a fully functioning and locally elected executive, which can respond to the issues facing the communities there.”

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, writing by William JamesEditing by William Schomberg)