Flooding: Talks with government over financial aid 'advanced' says DUP

Discussions are "advanced" between the government and the NI civil service around a financial package to help those affected by recent flooding, the DUP has said.

The party spoke after a meeting with Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris.

The government has faced calls to intervene in Stormont's absence with the five main party leaders jointly urging an emergency scheme.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said talks with the Treasury are ongoing.

It added that nothing has been confirmed yet.

Speaking after her party met Chris Heaton-Harris, Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart said she was "very confident" of an announcement in due course.

"Hopefully it will mirror a scheme in England announced last month to help people there after Storm Babet," she said.

"This would be about the aftermath - the amount of money made available which won't cover their losses but will help cash flow in the aftermath."

Asked how much money was being discussed she said a "significant amount" of money was needed to address the issue.

She added that it would be up to the Treasury and the Department of Finance at Stormont to work out how to deliver the scheme as quickly as possible.

BBC News NI understands that any scheme could be based on similar rates relief holiday measures that helped businesses in Northern Ireland during the Covid pandemic.