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Last-minute bid to thwart decriminalisation of abortion fails at Stormont

The first sitting of the Stormont Assembly in two and a half years ended in acrimony after a last-minute bid to thwart the decriminalisation of abortion was blocked.

Despite the absence of a powersharing executive, the Assembly sat after it was recalled by MLAs wishing to protest at changes to Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

At the start of proceedings in Parliament Buildings, there was an attempt by anti-abortion MLAs to fast-track a private member's bill through in a single day to halt the reform.