Police in Northern Ireland who are questioning Gerry Adams about a 1972 murder have operated with impartiality, the Secretary of State has said.
Theresa Villiers urged political leaders in the region to give measured responses after Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said a dark side of policing had emerged following the Sinn Fein president’s arrest on Wednesday.
Republicans are concerned that he was detained three weeks before the European elections by detectives investigating the abduction and murder of west Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville.
Ms Villiers said: “I believe that the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) take their duties in terms of impartially, balance and respect for human rights extremely seriously.
“They are not a politicised police force, they are properly and highly scrutinised by the Policing Board and Police Ombudsman.
“I believe they are doing a good job for Northern Ireland.”
Prime Minister David Cameron had discussions with Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists last night during which he emphasised that there had been no political interference in policing. The US administration has been kept informed, Ms Villiers said.