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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 February 2008, 10:02 GMT
Justice transfer plans 'fading'
Sir Reg says DUP will row away from devolution of policing and justice
Sir Reg says DUP will row away from devolution of policing and justice
Plans for the devolution of policing and justice are fading because of the DUP's failure in the Dromore by-election, Sir Reg Empey has said.

The Ulster Unionist leader, whose party won the council seat, said the poll was a test of public opinion.

First Minister Ian Paisley has said he would not be proposing devolution by the May deadline because there was insufficient public confidence.

However, the British and Irish governments have backed the transfer.

Sir Reg told the BBC's Inside Politics programme: "I don't believe at the moment that there is an appetite out there for any devolution of policing and justice.

"A number of members of parliament, such as Willie McCrea and David Simpson and others, will be looking at those figures and they will see what the downstream consequence of them are.

"I think you will find now that the DUP will row away from the devolution of policing and justice."

Last week, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said devolution of policing and justice powers should happen soon.

Ian Paisley said conditions did not exist at present
Ian Paisley said conditions did not exist at present

The British and Irish prime ministers urged all the political parties to complete the process of devolution.

They want the policing and justice powers transferred by the May deadline.

Mr Paisley said the move could only happen with the necessary support within communities.

Those conditions did not exist at present, he said.



SEE ALSO
Leaders urge last devolution step
10 Feb 08 |  Northern Ireland
Justice devolved 'by end of 2008'
09 Jan 08 |  Northern Ireland

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