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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Policing Board man slams the DUP
Police patrolling
On the beat: Members of a PSNI patrol
An independent member who is quitting Northern Ireland's Policing Board has warned it could become more polarised than ever.

Tom Kelly said he was concerned at the increased role the DUP was trying to create for itself on the body.

"The DUP are making it quite clear they will not accept anybody other than a DUP chairman. We can't be heading for that type of society," he said.

The board was set up to hold the PSNI's Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, to account.

However, Mr Kelly stressed his decision to quit was not connected to the Northern Ireland election results in which the DUP made significant gains.

Increased vote

The party won three extra seats at Westminster increasing their representation from six to nine as well as winning scores of council seats.

"The decision not to go forward was one I made in January before the elections," he told BBC News Online.

In future when the government appoints independent members they should appoint fully independent members as opposed to party hacks
Ian Paisley Jnr

However he said he stood by his concerns about the DUP.

"I think it's regrettable that people believe they have a mandate to dictate public appointments policy.

"That would be a ridiculous society."

Although he is a member of the SDLP, Mr Kelly was appointed to the Policing Board as an independent.

His assessment of the DUP's strategy drew a withering response from one of the party's board members.

Ian Paisley Jr said: "If I was to say that I wouldn't serve in an organisation that had a particular type of Jew or Catholic on it, people like Tom Kelly would be trying to have me censured.

"In future when the government appoints independent members they should appoint fully independent members as opposed to party hacks."

Sinn Fein boycott

Until now, DUP and nationalist SDLP membership on the 19-member board has been evenly balanced, with each party holding three seats.

The Ulster Unionists have four representatives.

Sinn Fein continues to boycott Northern Ireland's policing arrangements and does not take its seats on the board.

It is expected that when the next board is appointed in the autumn of 2005 the Ulster Unionists would have three seats, with the SDLP on two.

The DUP's representation would rise to five.

Targets set out in policing plan
01 Mar 05 |  Northern Ireland


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