Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

McGuinness: we want a fresh start

Martin McGuinness: challenge to DUP leader

Sinn Fein wants to see the New Year mark a new beginning in its relationship with the DUP in a bid to secure power-sharing, the party's chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said last night.

He said Sinn Fein was working with both the British and Irish Governments over the Christmas period in an effort to kick-start power-sharing.

Revealing "considerable progress" has been made over the last few days, including contact with the two premiers yesterday afternoon, Mr McGuinness said: "This work will continue in the coming days to try and ensure that agreement can be made with the DUP to get the power-sharing institutions back up and running as quickly as possible.

"The Sinn Fein leadership has continued to work at this over Christmas because we want to see the New Year mark a new beginning in the relationship between our party and the DUP."

The DUP has said there will be no power-sharing with Sinn Fein until republicans back the police and support the institutions of law and order.

So far Sinn Fein has not set a date for the special party conference which it has to call to gain backing from its membership for support of the police.

The party faces a level of internal opposition to the idea of endorsing the police.

Mr McGuinness gave no indication in his statement about whether the party was closer to a date for the all-important conference.

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