Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Saturday, 21 November 2009

DUP in pledge over power-sharing

Mr Robinson said the DUP could not guarantee the future of the assembly

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson has admitted he cannot guarantee the future of the assembly.

However, the DUP leader said his party would not be walking away from power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

Mr Robinson was speaking at the DUP's annual conference, held at the La Mon Hotel on the outskirts of Belfast.

"I cannot guarantee the future of the Assembly but I can guarantee that it will not be the DUP that will walk away," he said.

"I can also guarantee that in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, the DUP will act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland."

The DUP are at odds with Sinn Fein over when policing and justice powers should be devolved from London to Belfast.

Sinn Fein want the DUP to agree to a date for the transfer of powers, however, there was no commitment to a date in Mr Robinson's speech.

Earlier this week, the DUP published a document called "Building on Success" which defended the party's track record and said that "now is the time to take the next step forward".

But it also made it clear that next step should include reforms to the Stormont system and had nothing new to say on the transfer of justice powers.

Watch Peter Robinson's conference speech in full

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