Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

SF and DUP justice row continues

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

A war of words has erupted between Sinn Fein and the DUP over the devolution of policing and justice to NI.

DUP leader Peter Robinson has accused Sinn Fein of doing nothing to resolve outstanding issues.

However, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness rejected Mr Robinson's comments as "a fabrication".

He said the DUP were involved in game playing and said Sinn Fein were always ready to have discussions with Peter Robinson's party.

Mr McGuinness has again warned that if a date for devolution was not announced before Christmas it would be "a very serious situation".

Both men held separate talks with the prime minister in Downing Street on Thursday.

Martin McGuinness also criticised a DUP demand to link the parading issue to the transfer of justice powers.

He said it was "absolutely preposterous" to make a demand on behalf of the Orange Order for the abolition of the Parades Commission.

The deputy first minister said it was now up to Peter Robinson to show leadership and he appealed to the British and Irish governments to try and speed up devolution.

He said Peter Robinson was making a huge mistake and his party were now in default of the St Andrews Agreement.

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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