MPs have voted to force the Government to allow same-sex marriage and liberalise access to abortion in Northern Ireland if devolution is not restored.

Gay marriage is illegal in Northern Ireland, while terminations are only allowed in cases where a woman’s life is at risk or if there is a danger of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.

The votes were held as part of House of Commons measures aimed at keeping Northern Ireland public services running, two and a half years after devolved powersharing collapsed.

Welcoming the votes, Cross-Community Labour Alternative councillor Donal O'Cofaigh said: "The next three months will be crucial to ensure that marriage equality and free, safe and legal abortion access become a reality and are here to stay. We need to up the pressure on Westminster and the local politicians with further mass protests to show that we are determined to bring Northern Ireland into the twenty-first century."

MPs voted by a majority of 310, 383 to 73, to legalise same sex marriage if a new Stormont Executive is not formed by October.

A proposal aiming to extend abortion access was also approved – 332 votes to 99.

The issues are areas of significant dispute between the DUP and Sinn Fein, who have struggled for years to reconcile their differences and resurrect the institutions at Stormont.