Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Dodds - 'UUP is needed for justice move'

Nigel Dodds
Nigel Dodds was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster

The DUP's Nigel Dodds has said his party would not be able to proceed with the devolution of justice if it does not get Ulster Unionist backing.

Mr Dodds was asked what his party would do if UUP MLAs vote against or abstain when the matter is put to a cross-community assembly vote on 9 March.

He told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics show it would be a "serious situation".

"I don't think we would then see progress happening," he added.

Earlier this month, the UUP chief whip Fred Cobain said his party would not accept the justice ministry being offered to the Alliance Party.

The normal procedure of electing ministers using the d'Hondt mechanism would give the ministry to the SDLP and Mr Cobain said acting outside d'Hondt was "gerrymandering".

The DUP agreed to back a deal on policing and justice after 10 days of talks with Sinn Fein, the British and Irish prime ministers and other parties on the issue.

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