Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Peter Robinson in holiday pledge

First Minister Peter Robinson today said he will break his holiday if Sinn Fein allows a Stormont Executive meeting to go ahead.

In the latest development in the growing stand-off between the two parties, the DUP leader also confirmed his Deputy First Minister counterpart Martin McGuinness is refusing to co-sign more than 30 Executive papers.

Mr Robinson, who is in the United States for a month, said: “If even at this late stage Sinn Fein clear sufficient papers for an Executive meeting to be held I am happy to break into my holiday to be present at that Executive meeting”.

The political brinkmanship came after SF president Gerry Adams said some in the DUP remain opposed to power-sharing and seek to advance their own agenda while blocking others.

A Sinn Fein source said today: “The point is there is absolutely no need for an Executive meeting until the outstanding issues can be resolved.

“We were quite shocked, after the DUP committed to a process of negotiations, Peter Robinson was going away for a month. Martin McGuinness is staying around the entire summer.”

Mr Robinson said, however: “The legal responsibility and duty we have to govern should not be withheld because republicans want to use it to advance their political agenda.

“Gerry Adams is a block to progress. Instead of lecturing the DUP he should stop blocking the transaction of Executive business. The DUP will not be rolling over for him or any Republican. Sinn Fein just doesn’t seem to get it. Progress is made and agreements are reached when both sides are content. Adams seems to think that it is the role of everyone to move to his position.

“When I came into office as First Minister I started work on clearing Executive papers. Over 30 papers are cleared by me and when they are cleared by the Deputy First Minister they form the agenda for an Executive meeting.”

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