Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

SF justice stance 'unacceptable'

Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson made his comments after a meeting with the prime minister

The First Minister Peter Robinson has described Sinn Fein's position over the devolution of policing and justice as unacceptable and inexplicable.

Mr Robinson said Sinn Fein were doing nothing to resolve outstanding issues.

He said there were three remaining issues which needed to be agreed.

They were identifying the name of the Justice Minister, outlining what their powers would be and solving the issue of parading.

The DUP leader was speaking after meeting the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Mr Robinson claimed Sinn Fein were refusing to come to meetings and he said there would be no date for devolution until the outstanding issues had been resolved.

He accused Republicans of huffing and said they should "roll up their sleeves" and get on with it.

The Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is to meet Mr Brown this afternoon.

Police officers
Sinn Fein and the DUP are at loggerheads over the issue

Sinn Fein is to raise the DUP's refusal to agree a date for the devolution of policing and justice powers to the NI Assembly with the prime minister.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's meeting, Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy said the DUP's position was unacceptable.

He said his party needed the British and Irish governments to explain how they would deal with the situation.

The DUP has said it did not think a date could be set before Christmas.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have been at loggerheads for months over what is often referred to as the last piece of the devolution jig-saw.

The leadership of both parties has met with the prime minister several times in recent weeks to agree a budget for policing and justice.

Sinn Fein wants the transfer of powers to be completed as soon as possible.

However, the DUP has argued there needs to be confidence-building measures, such as a satisfactory resolution regarding the future of the PSNI Full-Time Reserve and the possible abolition of the Parades Commission.



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