Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 09:42 UK

DUP denies deal on detention vote

Sir Hugh Orde
Sir Hugh has commented on the debate on detention

The DUP has denied having any deal with the government on backing 42-day detention for holding terror suspects without charge.

The Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, said talk of a deal was speculation.

The chief constable of the PSNI, Sir Hugh Orde, has also commented on the issue.

Writing in the Sun newspaper, Sir Hugh said "sadly" the day would come when the 28-day limit would not be enough and the authorities had to plan ahead.

Mr Donaldson said his party would make its decision based on principle.

"We will look at the issues on principle because it's too important to be a matter of horse-trading," he said.

"We will take a decision based on what we believe needs to be done to ensure that the security services and the police have the powers they need to deal with a continued substantial threat from international terrorism."

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said the powers would only be used in exceptional circumstances and was not like internment.

"What Parliament should now consider is what measures should be taken to protect the public before an atrocity happens not when it happens," he said.

The Conservatives, Lib Dems and up to 30 Labour MPs oppose the plan.

Support of the DUP's nine MPs could be crucial in Wednesday's Commons vote.


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