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Martin McGuinness hits out at PSNI college 'conspiracy'

By David Young and PA

Published 14/04/2015

Attack: Martin McGuinness
Attack: Martin McGuinness

Powerful forces within the police have been engaged in a disgraceful bid to undermine the relocation of a new officer training college to Co Tyrone, Martin McGuinness has claimed.

The Deputy First Minister warned that the Executive faced a fight to defeat elements within the PSNI opposed to a joint services complex at Desertcreat outside Cookstown.

"We will face a battle on this," he told MLAs at Question Time.

"There are powerful forces out there within the services, particularly within the police, that in my opinion disgracefully have been opposed to this project relocating from Belfast to Co Tyrone, and they have been at their work for the last number of years. It gives me no pleasure in saying that, but I believe that to be a fact."

Doubt surrounds the proposal for the £100million-plus state-of-the-art police, fire and prison service training college.

Last year, the steering group behind the project, made up of Stormont officials and services representatives, advised against proceeding in the current financial climate. But the final decision rests with the Executive.

A spokesman for the college's programme board said: "It would be inappropriate to comment further until we have received the Executive direction."

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