By David Hunter
The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service has deferred his retirement because of the political impasse.
Sir Malcolm McKibbin will now step down on June 30th - the day after the talks deadline at Stormont.
The country's most senior civil servant had initially announced he would stand down in January.
He was asked at the time to stay on until April.
It was around that time when former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned, triggering the collapse of the assembly.
The Sinn Fein veteran blamed a renewable heating incentive scheme which went vastly over budget.
With no executive in place and a looming Westminster election, Sir.Malcolm has again delayed his retirement.
In a letter to all staff he outlined his involvement in chairing some Stormont talks, and said he wanted to ensure continuity.
Sir Malcolm also thanked staff members for their commitment and support.