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Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson
The Ulster Unionist Party will be taken to the cleaners if it does not sort out its guns and government policy
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Saturday, 16 December, 2000, 13:51 GMT
Trimble faces further showdown
UUP leader David Trimble leaves press conference
David Trimble: Facing another UUC showdown
Ulster Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson has said there will be a meeting of the party's ruling council early in the New Year on the issue of power-sharing with Sinn Fein in advance of IRA decommissioning.

The Lagan Valley MP, a strident opponent of the Good Friday Agreement, said the party would be "taken to the cleaners" in the next election if it did not agree a policy over guns and government.


Key decisions are going to have to be taken in terms of where we are going, in terms of whether we move to exclude Sinn Fein /IRA from the executive

Jeffrey Donaldson MP
His comments come after talks between the pro-Agreement parties and US President Bill Clinton during his visit here on Wednesday.

At the last Ulster Unionist Council meeting in October, party leader David Trimble survived a challenge to power-sharing by introducing a package of measures which included sanctions against Sinn Fein ministers.

His refusal to authorise the attendance of health minister Bairbre de Brun and minister for education Martin McGuinness is currently being challenged in the courts.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme, Mr Donaldson said the party would have to meet because of the failure of "Sinn Fein / IRA to honour their obligations under the Agreement and under the principles of democracy and non-violence".

"January is going to be a key moment for the party.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson
Jeffrey Donaldson: Hardline on arms issue
"Key decisions are going to have to be taken in terms of where we are going, in terms of whether we move to exclude Sinn Fein /IRA from the executive."

The result of the ballot at the end of October was 445 votes in favour of Mr Trimble while 374 voted for the Lagan Valley MP's motion.

Mr Donaldson's proposal involved a UUP withdrawal from government if the IRA failed to begin actual decommissioning by the end of November.

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See also:

28 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Unionist plan gets hostile response
27 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Unionists clash ahead of meeting
26 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
IRA arms dumps re-visited
19 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Unionists 'discontented' with leadership
20 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Clinton message to NI executive
26 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents set new arms deadline
28 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Trimble hardens arms stance
15 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
Trimble ban criticised in court
14 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
No turning back says Clinton
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