Sinn Féin keen to press ahead
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said today that the Speaker had made her ruling regarding the positions of First and Deputy First Minister and that it is now Sinn Fein's intention to press ahead with all the outstanding necessary
issues which need to be addressed
Mr Adams said:
"The Speaker has made her ruling regarding the positions of First and Deputy First Minster. With the exception of Bob McCartney, none of the parties in the chamber dissented from that ruling.
"The rest of the day's business will be taken up by the Programme for Government meeting. It is Sinn Fein's intention to press ahead with all the outstanding necessary issues which need to be addressed.
"This is a difficult process. It is far from perfect and we are not naive. It is very much inch by inch. It is a matter of trying to bring representatives across a line and into a new place and I would appeal to nationalists and republicans to remain focused during this period."
When asked by the media about Peter Hain's call for Sinn Féin to clarify their position on Policing, Mr Adams said:
"Peter Hain understands our position fully and so should everybody else. He is playing politics with the policing issue.
We have seen, even as I stand here, the difficulties he has got himself into by playing politics with victims, playing politics with the Orange Parades, playing politics with equality and other issues.
"We are not about playing politics with policing. We are about depoliticising policing. I don't think anyone would expect us to take responsibility for policing without there being executive authority.
"However other parties, and I think particularly the SDLP, have bought into MI5 involvement in the PSNI, they have bought into no timeframe at all on the transfer of powers of policing and justice. Sinn Fein has a different
position. We believe in civic policing - the vision which was outlined in the Good Friday Agreement.
"We think we can get there and rather than Peter Hain asking us for clarification, he should provide clarification on these matters so we can have depoliticised civic policing where every citizen can be given some sense that every police officer will be held accountable in the mechanisms outlined." ENDS