DUP defiant over policing

THE DUP has made clear it will not be held to an NIO deadline on the devolution of policing and justice powers.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds hit back at remarks made this week by Secretary of State Shaun Woodward at the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth, saying the DUP had not signed up to a May 2008 deadline.

Mr Dodds said: "Soon after his arrival in Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward made the false assertion that all the political parties had agreed to the devolution of policing and justice powers by May 2008.

"I told him then in no uncertain terms that the DUP had not signed up to May 2008 or any other arbitrary date set by Government.

"But Mr Woodward has simply ignored my warning and I see that he has returned to this theme at the Labour Party's annual conference."

Mr Dodds gave assurances to DUP members gathered at a North Antrim meeting that policing and justice will not be devolved "until the circumstances are right".